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Rays' Battery Gets a Little Charged Up

Rays starter Matt Garza had a dugout fight with catcher Dioner Navarro that spilled into the tunnel leading to the clubhouse.
Rays starter Matt Garza had a dugout fight with catcher Dioner Navarro that spilled into the tunnel leading to the clubhouse. (By Tony Gutierrez -- Associated Press)
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Monday, June 9, 2008; Page E06

Tampa Bay starting pitcher Matt Garza and catcher Dioner Navarro had to be separated after arguing in the dugout during yesterday's game at Texas.

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Television cameras caught the two face-to-face in the dugout and in an apparent scuffle that spilled into the tunnel leading to the clubhouse after the fourth inning.

Manager Joe Maddon, pitching coach Jim Hickey and others could be seen rushing to break up the fracas. It wasn't clear if any punches were thrown.

When Hickey visited the mound during the fourth, after No. 9 hitter German Duran hit a two-run homer to put the Rangers up 3-0, Garza and Navarro had an obviously heated discussion with the coach in the middle of them.

"It was just something that happened in the game and it's been taken care of," Navarro said. "It happens in the family. . . . We're fine. We're brothers, a whole family. The oldest brother gets into fights sometimes. It's been straightened out."

Jason Hammel took over on the mound in the fifth, while Navarro remained in the game.

"Just keep it in house and fix it. That's about it," Garza said, after meeting behind closed doors with Maddon for about 20 minutes. "We're both competitors. Whatever happens stays here and we'll definitely fix it." . . .

Rays closer Troy Percival is expected to throw a simulated game today or tomorrow in Anaheim, Calif., and could be closing games again by the end of the week.

Maddon said Percival's rehabilitation from a pulled left hamstring is on target. Percival has been on the disabled list since May 29, and is eligible to return Friday. The Rays don't anticipate the right-hander needing a rehabilitation stint in the minors.

Percival, 1-0 with 14 saves in 16 chances and a 2.95 ERA, limped off the mound during the ninth inning of a home game against the Rangers. An MRI exam revealed no significant damage.

· ATHLETICS: Mark Ellis's 12th-inning grand slam to beat the Angels, 7-3, was the fifth game-ending grand slam in franchise history, and the first since Mark McGwire did it on June 30, 1995, also against the Angels. . . . Oakland starter Rich Harden matched his season high with nine strikeouts. He struck out the side in order in the first on nine pitches, the first pitcher in the majors to do so since Atlanta's Buddy Carlyle on July 6, 2007. The last AL pitcher to do it was Pedro Martínez on May 18, 2002, with Boston. Harden is the first A's pitcher to do it since Lefty Grove on Sept. 27, 1928. . . .

When Carlos Gonzalez hit an RBI single in the fourth to pull Oakland to 3-2, the rookie ended his stretch of seven straight extra-base hits -- all doubles -- to start his career. Called up on May 30, he became the first major leaguer since Johnny Mize in 1936 to begin his big league career with each of his first seven hits going for extra bases.

-- From News Services


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