Phillies Can't Beat The Rays Twice

Matt Garza shut down Philadelphia's offense and ex-Phillies slugger Pat Burrell homered for the first time in over two months to help Tampa Bay beat his former team 7-1 on Wednesday night.

The win, Garza's first since May 16, evened the rematch between the participants in last year's World Series at one game apiece. The Phillies, who defeated the Rays in five games in October, won the opener 10-1.

Garza limited the Phillies to Greg Dobbs' fifth-inning single until Jayson Werth hit an opposite-field solo homer to trim Tampa Bay's lead to 2-1 and enable Philadelphia to remain the only team in the majors with an extra-base hit in every game this season.

Burrell's second homer since signing with the Rays in January -- a two-run shot in the second inning -- ruined an otherwise strong performance for Phillies starter Joe Blanton (4-4), who struck out 10 while yielding two runs and six hits in seven-plus innings.

Garza, 0-3 over his previous six starts, allowed one run and three hits in eight innings. The Rays assured his first win in nearly six weeks with five runs in the eighth, and Burrell drove home the first of them with a bases-loaded fielder's choice grounder.

Jason Bartlett followed with a two-run single off Chan Ho Park to extend his career-best hitting streak to 18 games, tying Quinton McCracken for the franchise record. Greg Gross finished the Phillies off with a two-run double.

Burrell signed a $16 million, two-year contract with the AL champions after not being offered a new deal by the Phillies. He homered in Tampa Bay's home opener on April 13 and had gone 28 games and 100 at-bats without hitting another.

The slugger's first two homers for his new team were also separated by a 29-game stay on the disabled list with a neck strain that's prevented him from settling into his new role as a designated hitter.

He was 0-for-3 with a walk Tuesday night in his first regular season game against his former team and was 3-for-17 with five walks since coming off the DL when he took Blanton deep on an 0-1 pitch.

Garza breezed through the first three innings before walking Shane Victorino, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard to load the bases with no outs in the fourth.

There was a time when the 25-year-old right-hander might have fallen apart in such situations, however he kept his emotions in check and escaped unscathed by getting Werth to ground into a first-pitch double play (third to home to first) and fanning Matt Stairs.

Hitless up to that point, the Phillies broke through when Dobbs lined the first pitch of the fifth inning to right field. Garza didn't allow another baserunner until Werth's 13th homer on a 3-2 pitch with one out in the seventh.

Stairs followed with a single for the third hit off the Tampa Bay starter, however Garza retired Dobbs and Pedro Feliz to get out of the seventh without any further damage. The Phillies finished with four hits.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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