Tampa pitcher Garza makes good on his promise

By Jeff Zrebiec
Sunday, September 5, 2010

BALTIMORE - Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.

Tampa Bay Rays starter Matt Garza's vow that he would "shove it down" the Baltimore Orioles' throats Friday night proved to be more rhetoric than reality. His performance was more of a gentle nudge, and yet it was still plenty good enough to quiet an Orioles team that continues to struggle against the American League East.

Garza allowed one earned run in 52/3 innings as the Rays dealt the Orioles their third straight defeat, a listless 4-1 decision in front of an announced 13,507 at Camden Yards. It's the first three-game losing streak under Manager Buck Showalter.

The Orioles (49-86) fell to 3-10 this season against the Rays, and a combined 5-32 against divisional foes other than the Boston Red Sox. Their overall record against the AL East is 12-40, which translates into a .231 winning percentage.

The Rays, who took advantage of Kevin Millwood early and then rode an effective but erratic performance by Garza, and 3 1/3 shutdown innings from their bullpen.

"He said what he said and he backed it up," said Orioles designated hitter Luke Scott when asked about Garza's comments. "He did a good job for his team, but don't let it bite you in the butt."

Millwood was in trouble throughout his 52/3-innings. Garza, however, was mostly in control. He gave up five hits, three walks and threw two wild pitches.

The Orioles had base runners against Garza in every inning except the first, but they mustered only the one run on Felix Pie's sacrifice fly in the fourth inning.

Overall, they went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position with catcher Matt Wieters twice hitting into inning-ending groundouts with two men on. The second time was in the sixth against Chad Qualls, who relieved Garza following a four-pitch walk to Corey Patterson.

Garza, who improved to 9-1 with a 3.03 ERA in 12 career starts against the Orioles, said he meant no disrespect by his comments earlier in the week to reporters who cover the Rays.

- Baltimore Sun

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