ST. PETERSBURG - JULY 05: Pitcher Matt Garza #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the game at Tropicana Field on July 5 2010 in St. Petersburg Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

Garza, Rays Stifle Indians, 4-0

Aaron Laffey(1-2, 5.18 ERA) Vs. Matt Garza(9-5, 4.28)

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Tribe Handcuffed In Tampa, Lose 4-0

St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Matt Garza pitched six shutout innings, leading the Tampa Bay Rays to a 4-0 win over the Cleveland Indians in the third of four games at Tropicana Field.

Garza (10-5) yielded just one hit and one walk while fanning two for the Rays, who have won seven of eight. It was the first time since April 18 that the righty went at least six innings without yielding a run, and he's now one win shy of tying his career-high.

Gabe Kapler drove in two runs for Tampa Bay, which has won two of the first three games in this set.

Jhonny Peralta and Matt LaPorta each singled for the Indians, who have lost four of five. Aaron Laffey (1-3) allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks in 5 2/3 frames to receive the loss for Cleveland.

The Rays used a two-out rally in the fourth to break a scoreless tie.

Laffey retired Willy Aybar and Kelly Shoppach on groundouts to begin the inning, but issued a walk to Ben Zobrist. Sean Rodriguez followed with a ground-rule double, and Kapler singled up the middle to plate both runners for a 2-0 lead.

In the fifth, Laffey again retired the first two Tampa Bay hitters, but Evan Longoria doubled and scored on Aybar's subsequent single for a three-run cushion.

Meanwhile, Garza dominated. After issuing a two-out walk to Shelley Duncan in the second, he finished his outing by setting down the next 13 Cleveland hitters without a problem.

Tampa Bay's Grant Balfour ran into some trouble in the seventh, when Peralta drew a two-out walk and was followed by LaPorta's single. After both runners moved up on a wild pitch, Shelley Duncan struck out to end the threat.

The Indians failed to threaten in the final two innings, and Jason Bartlett's bloop double in the eighth accounted for the final margin.

Tampa Bay leads the season series, 4-1...Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner left the game with tightness in his upper back...Bartlett finished with two hits...With two outs in the ninth, Austin Kearns doubled, which extended the Indians' streak of games with an extra-base hit to 36, the longest active streak in the AL.


Indians Look For Second Straight Win Over Rays In Tampa

(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Rays had a six-game winning streak halted on Friday and will attempt to get back on track tonight, when they continue a four-game series with the Cleveland Indians at Tropicana Field.

Lefty Aaron Laffey will get the start on the road tonight for the Indians. The hurler owns a 1-2 record with a 5.18 earned run average and is coming off a no-decision against Texas on Monday. In that game Laffey pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing just one earned run on five hits.

Laffey is 1-0 with a 3.97 ERA in his career against Tampa.

Matt Garza is 9-5 with a 4.28 ERA this season, and the Tampa Bay righty will be on the mound this evening. He only lasted three innings against Boston on Monday, surrendering four earned runs on seven hits. Garza has allowed 107 hits in 107 1/3 innings and has recorded 84 strikeouts for the year.

Garza has yet to face Cleveland this season and is 1-4 with a 5.59 ERA lifetime against the Indians.

The Rays had their winning run snapped with a 9-3 loss to Cleveland on Friday. The Indians' Jayson Nix continued his torrid recent hitting by belting his sixth home run in seven games to help his team end a three-game slide.

Nix, who hit his 19th career homer, had hit only 13 other home runs in 147 career games prior to this unprecedented stretch.

"I don't know," said Nix when asked of his recent power binge. "I don't try [to hit home runs] -- it just happens in the game sometimes. It's a funny game, and stuff like this happens sometimes. It's nothing I'm trying to do by any means. It's one of those things I can't really explain."

Jhonny Peralta added three hits, including a three-run homer, in the win.

Indians first baseman Matt LaPorta, who had missed the last three games with a head contusion, continued his own hot streak with a three-hit game. LaPorta, who was the key part of the deal that sent CC Sabathia to Milwaukee in 2008, has batted .382 with four homers and 10 RBI in 10 games since his recall on June 27.

Fausto Carmona (8-7), in his final start before heading to the All-Star Game, gave up two runs on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts in 6 2/3 frames to earn the win.

"From what I saw, we were chasing a lot of pitches out of the zone," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We need to be a little more patient with [Carmona] the next time we see him. Permit him to walk us because he can do that. He's got really good stuff, and it's difficult to lay off."

Carlos Pena homered and drove in two runs for the Rays in Friday's loss. Starting pitcher James Shields (7-9) continued to struggle, yielding four runs and six hits in 6 1/3 to take the loss. The righty has gone 2-8 with a 6.87 ERA in his last 10 games.

Tampa swept a two-game series from the Indians back in May, but Cleveland has won five of the last eight meetings between the teams.

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