Blue Jays 2, Rays 1
Matt Garza made 102 pitches Friday night. The only throw the
Tampa Bay right-hander wanted back most, though, was an easy toss
to first base.
Lyle Overbay doubled home the tiebreaking run in the seventh
inning, Brett Cecil won for the first time in four starts and the
Toronto Blue Jays took advantage of two Tampa Bay errors to hand
the Rays their third straight loss, 2-1 Friday night.
Garza and second baseman Sean Rodriguez made throwing errors for
the unusually sloppy Rays, who made only three errors on their
just-concluded 11-game homestand, going 8-3.
”There was no margin for error tonight, based on the pitching
on both sides,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Cecil (9-5) gave up one run and four hits in seven innings,
walked two and struck out nine, one shy of his career high. The
left-hander said he threw more cutters and sliders than usual.
”I relied a lot on those pitches tonight,” Cecil said. ”I got
a couple of strikeouts on both and got a couple of the changeup as
Cecil is 2-0 with a 2.06 ERA in his past six starts.
”He’s been real impressive,” Overbay said. ”Just talking to
the guys, the not-so-many guys who got on first base, they were
saying he had his game today.”
Shawn Camp worked the eighth and Kevin Gregg pitched around a
leadoff single in the ninth to earn his 25th save in 29
Toronto won despite failing to hit a home run for the first time
in 14 home games. The Blue Jays have lost eight of 13 home games
against the Rays, dating to last season.
Garza (11-6) allowed two runs and four hits in eight innings for
the Rays, who hadn’t lost three straight since June 20-23. Garza
walked none and struck out four.
The Rays scored their only run in the first. Rodriguez hit a
ground-rule double to right and scored one out later on Willy
Aybar’s double to left.
Ben Zobrist followed with an infield single but Cecil set down
the next 13 batters.
”Two of our last three losses have been by 2-1 scores,” Maddon
said. ”Obviously we need to do a bit more offensively.”
Toronto tied it in the third. Edwin Encarnacion led off with a
double that bounced under the glove of Gabe Kapler in left. When
Jose Molina followed with a liner to second, Rodriguez tried to
complete the double play but threw the ball down the left field
line, allowing Encarnacion to score without a play.
”At first I thought we had a shot at him,” Rodriguez said.
”Literally the minute the ball left my hand I said ‘Man, there was
no play.’ Sure enough, the ball ends up in left field.
”You always get upset when you make mistakes and make errors,”
Rodriguez added. ”That one hurts, especially with the way (Garza)
B.J. Upton ended Cecil’s streak by drawing a leadoff walk in the
sixth and Rodriguez followed with a single, but Evan Longoria
grounded into a double play. Aybar walked, putting runners at the
corners, before Zobrist struck out to end the inning.
”That was our best opportunity right there,” Maddon said.
The Blue Jays took the lead in the seventh, a rally that started
when Bautista bounced back to the mound but was safe when Zobrist
bobbled Garza’s low throw.
”It’s a routine play, you can’t mess that up,” Garza said.
”It’s going to a rough one to swallow.”
Vernon Wells struck out, Adam Lind singled and Aaron Hill flied
out before Overbay hit an RBI double over the head of Kapler in
left. Kapler recovered the ball and fired a one-hop strike to the
plate to throw out Lind, who was trying to score from first.
NOTES: The Rays placed 1B Carlos Pena (right foot) on the 15-day
DL, retroactive to Aug. 1, and recalled RHP Dale Thayer from
Triple-A Durham. … Blue Jays RHP Jesse Litsch will have
season-ending surgery on his right hip next week. LHP Brad Mills
was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas to replace him in the
rotation. … Rays OF Carl Crawford was held out of the lineup but
will start Saturday, Maddon said. … The complete game was Garza’s
third of the season and the sixth of his career. … Blue Jays C
J.P. Arencibia will make his major league debut Saturday. He was
called up Wednesday when John Buck (right thumb) went on the 15-day