The Wrap: AL
AL Quote of the Night
"He was phenomenal. If they did not get that hit, I would have let him go 125 or 130 pitches."
-- Rays Manager Joe Maddon on the pitching performance of Matt Garza.
Matt Garza carried a perfect game into the seventh inning before being forced to settle for 7 2/3 innings of one-hit ball. Garza struck out 10 to earn his second win of the season while Boston was shut out for the first time this year. Evan Longoria led the Rays' offense, going 3 for 5 with three runs and four RBI. Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett and reliever Javier Lopez ended up combining to give up 12 of Tampa Bay's 13 runs. With his team toast and his bullpen taxed, Boston Manager Terry Francona brought in the Red Sox' hero from Wednesday night Jonathan Van Every to pitch from right field while taking Lopez off the mound and putting him in right.
Kansas City finished April with a winning record for the first time since 2003 while also ending the opening month leading the AL Central. Royals catcher John Buck played a huge part in the win, hitting two triples and a double to go 3 for 3 with five RBI. Toronto starter Brian Burres got tattooed by the Royals, giving up six runs (four earned) in just two innings of work to fall to 0-2 on the season. Kansas City got solid defense to go with it's offense, turning six double plays as the Royals jumped out to an 8-2 lead but had to hang on for the win as the bullpen scuffled to close out the team's victory.
Matt Holliday and the A's ended a disappointing April on a high note. Holliday, Oakland's big offseason acquisition, hit his first home run of the season in the top of the ninth inning as the Athletics collect their third win in the team's past four games. Dallas Braden pitched a scoreless five innings for the A's while Vicente Padilla took the loss, giving up three runs over six innings. In addition to an 8-11 record, Oakland has seen three infielders (Eric Chavez, Mark Ellis and Nomar Garciaparra) go down with injuries in the past three days.
Los Angeles jumped out to a 3-1 lead after two innings but saw it disappear late thanks to a rough eighth inning. Angels reliever Justin Speier was responsible for three runs in the inning as Yankees third baseman Ramiro Pena hit a two-run double to give New York its third consecutive victory.
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