Matt Garza outdueled the Mariners’ Cliff Lee to give Tampa Bay its 20th win of the season, and hold on to its major-league leading record. The Rays can sweep the three game set tonight when Jeff Niemann (1-0, 2.76) goes up against Ryan Rowland-Smith (0-1, 5.28).
The Rays are maintaining a one-game lead over the Yankees, even though the Bombers have won four straight. Toronto trails in third, the Red Sox are in fourth, and it’s doubtful that Baltimore can get out of the basement at any point this season.
It’s May, so it might not be so premature to think that these Rays are for real. Evan Longoria continues to light up the league’s offensive categories. He leads in runs (26), is tied for third in RBI (22), tied for fourth in batting average (.356) and hits (37), and ranks eighth in homers (7) and slugging percentage (.635). In the categories where Longoria doesn’t rank in the top 10, Carl Crawford does. Crawford is tied for third in triples (2) and ranks seventh in doubles (10) and stolen bases (7).
Garza’s five wins lead the AL, as do his 43 innings pitched, while his 2.09 ERA ranks seventh in the Junior Circuit. James Shields is second in strikeouts with 43.
So when will the Rays get some respect?
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Written by Stephanie Geosits