Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

Tampa Bay leads 2-0 (as of 6/30)

Game 1: Monday, June 29
Tampa Bay4Final
Toronto1
Game 2: Tuesday, June 30
Tampa Bay4Final
Toronto1
Game 3: Wednesday, July 1
Tampa Bay0Final
Toronto5

Rays 4

(44-35, 18-22 away)

Blue Jays 1

(41-38, 24-18 home)

    7:07 PM ET, June 30, 2009

    Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario 

    123456789 R H E
    TB 101001010 4 9 0
    TOR 010000000 1 8 0

    W: M. Garza (6-5)

    L: S. Richmond (6-5)

    S: J. Howell (6)

    Three homers, Garza help Rays stretch win streak to seven

    Associated Press

    TORONTO -- Right from the first pitch, the Tampa Bay Rays had their power stroke going.

    B.J. Upton homered to leadoff the game, Carl Crawford and Willy Aybar added solo shots and the Rays won their seventh straight game Tuesday night, 4-1 over the Toronto Blue Jays.

    Why Matt Garza won

    • Retired six of seven leadoff hitters.

    • Hitters were 0-8 with three strikeouts on pitches down in the zone.

    • Six of 26 outs and two of three strikeouts were on pitches out of the strike zone.

    -- ESPN Stats and Information

    "We really lived by the long ball," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We didn't have to do the speed game today."

    The Rays finished June with a team-record 41 homers and are the only squad in the major leagues with more than 100 homers (105) and 100 steals (121).

    Matt Garza (6-5) allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings, walked three and struck out three to win consecutive starts for the first time since April 30 and May 5.

    "Garza struggled a little bit with command," Maddon said. "But overall, his stuff is so good he was able to fight through some moments." Garza is 4-2 with a 0.60 ERA in his past six starts against the Blue Jays. The right-hander is 2-2 with a 0.91 ERA in four career starts in Toronto but was at a loss to explain his dominance against Toronto.

    "I'd love to be this stingy in any ballpark also," Garza said. "There's no answer."

    J.P. Howell worked the ninth for his sixth save.

    Upton hit his second career leadoff homer off, drilling the first pitch from Scott Richmond over the wall in left-center for his seventh homer.

    "I was just looking for a pitch to hit, ready to hit right from the first pitch," Upton said. "I got a pitch I liked and hit it out of the ballpark."

    The Blue Jays tied it in the second when Scott Rolen singled to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 18 games and scored when Lyle Overbay grounded into a double play.

    Crawford put the Rays in front to stay in the third with a one-out homer, his eighth of the year.

    "It was a slider down and in," Crawford said. "He struck me out with it in the first inning and I was able to stay on it for the home run."

    Aybar made it 3-1 with a leadoff shot in the sixth, his seventh.

    Richmond allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings. He walked five and struck out seven.

    Ben Zobrist capped Tampa Bay's scoring with a sacrifice fly in the eighth off reliever Jesse Carlson.

    Toronto has scored just six runs in its past four games, all losses, the first time this season they've lost four straight at home. The Blue Jays are .138 (4-for-29) with runners in scoring position in that stretch, leaving manager Cito Gaston pondering changes to his batting order.

    "Some of the guys are hitting but the guys that we need to drive in runs are not swinging the bats at all," Gaston said. "We'll think about doing something [Wednesday], trying to get guys in the right spots."

    The Blue Jays never mounted much of a threat in this one. Rolen grounded into a fielder's choice with runners at first and second to end the third and Vernon Wells flied out to end the fifth, stranding runners at second and third.

    Garza left after Aaron Hill's leadoff walk in the seventh and Wells followed with a single against Chad Bradford. Hill took third on Rolen's fly out before Randy Choate came on and struck out Adam Lind, then got Overbay to fly to left. Overbay is hitless in 13 at-bats and Wells is stuck in a 2-for-19 slump.

    Game notes


    Rays 3B Evan Longoria, who missed time with a tight left hamstring earlier this month, was held out of the starting lineup but pinch-hit in the eighth and flied out. ... Blue Jays closer Scott Downs, out since June 18 with a sore toe, threw off the bullpen mound and will try fielding drills in the coming days, Gaston said. Downs is eligible to come off the DL Friday when the Blue Jays open a three-game series at New York. ... Toronto rookie LHP Brett Cecil made his first career relief appearance in the ninth.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Game Information

    StadiumRogers Centre, Toronto, ON
    Attendance15,477 (31.4% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time3:07
    Weatherindoors
    UmpiresHome Plate - Mike Estabrook, First Base - Adrian Johnson, Second Base - Jim Joyce, Third Base - Bill Miller