ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Matt Garza pitched with confidence and the results were impressive.
Garza worked eight effective innings, Kelly Shoppach came within a triple of hitting for the cycle and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the San Diego Padres 5-3 on Thursday."The whole thing was control the situation," Garza said. "Control the game and make pitches. Not just pitch, but make pitches. That was the biggest key for me."Garza (8-5) gave up three runs and six hits to rebound from a loss last Friday to Florida in which the right-hander allowed seven runs in 1 1/3 innings.Tampa Bay also got home runs from B.J. Upton and Carlos Pena. Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth for his 17th save.Oscar Salazar homered for the Padres, who won two of three in the interleague series. Wade LeBlanc (4-5) allowed four runs and 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings."Two out of three on the road in this environment against this club, a good feat accomplished," San Diego manager Bud Black said.Tampa Bay All-Star left fielder Carl Crawford left after the second inning due to left shoulder soreness. He was hurt making a throw Wednesday and was not expected to play on Friday."It's one of those things where you just treat it and it should be day to day," Crawford said.After Willy Aybar got Tampa Bay even at 3 with a two-run single in the fifth, Shoppach made it 4-3 on his sixth-inning solo shot.Tampa Bay was 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position before Aybar's hit off LeBlanc. The Rays finished 1 for 12."Hanging around would be the best way to describe today," LeBlanc said. "I wasn't extremely sharp. It's just trying to make the pitches you need to make when you need to get outs. I made a good pitch and Aybar did a good job of finding a hole. I feel like that kind of took the wind out of me. If that ball goes to somebody we're still up 3-1 after five innings. It's a different kind of game."Pena extended the Rays advantage to 5-3 on his homer during the seventh.San Diego took a 3-1 lead during the second on an RBI single by Jerry Hairston Jr. and Salazar's two-run shot.Upton put the Rays up 1-0 with a leadoff homer in the first. He had not gone deep in his previous 81 at-bats, dating back to May 29.Rays manager Joe Maddon was ejected in the seventh for arguing a balk called against Garza. Maddon went to the mound after the play and waited until second base umpire Gary Cederstrom, who made the call, and plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth approached to break up the meeting. Maddon, while looking at Garza, then made comments apparently intended for Cederstrom and was thrown out.Tampa Bay's James Shields was called for a balk in Wednesday night's 5-4 loss to the Padres."There's only so much you can take in regards to the influence of the umpires on the game," Maddon said. "Obviously there's a lot of things that are out of your control. But there's certain things that when it comes down to interpretation, a lot of the interpretation has gone against us. And I'm really tired on interpretation going against us. You have to make stand at some point."
San Diego C Yorvit Torrealba served the final game of a three-game suspension for making contact with an umpire. ... Upton's leadoff homer was the third of his career. ... Padres OF Matt Stairs (strained right knee) is taking batting practice and doing light jogging, but is not ready yet to start running hard. ... Tampa Bay OF Gabe Kapler, on the 15-day disabled list with a right hip flexor strain, is set to begin a rehab assignment at Class A Charlotte on Friday.