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Garza quiet in LA, Upton at DH

Update, 10:20:  The Rays made franchise history in the second inning Monday night, when Evan Longoria, Willy Aybar and Dioner Navarro homered in consecutive bats off Angels starter Joe Saunders.
The Rays had never hit back-to-back-to-back homers before.

So much for RHP Matt Garza explaining what happened during Sunday's heated confrontations with C Dioner Navarro or expounding on what he needed "to fix", as he mentioned nearly a dozen times.
Moments after the clubhouse opened to the media this afternoon, Rays PR man Chris Costello said Garza would have nothing to say today on the incident - which has been getting significant national media attention - and preferred to let the comments he made Sunday stand on the issue.

Rays manager Joe Maddon did address the issue in his pre-game media session and said he thinks it turn out to be a positive development for Garza and for the team.

"There's always a positive in every perceived negative you see out there,'' Maddon said. "I think it's a good thing. We had a good discussion today, we handled everything in house, and I'm very satisfied. I feel very good about it having a positive impact on the near and far future. So I'm good with it. We dealt with it. Everybody's talked about it. It's all good. We're ready to roll today.''

Maddon has talked to all parties involved, though Navarro said he had yet to talk with Garza, but planned to in the next day or so.

While the Rays may be developing a rogue reputation with brawls against the Yankees and Red Sox and now one amongst themselves, Maddon said all can benefit the team.

"For Matt, it's a growth moment for him and it's a growth moment for all of us,'' he said. "A lot of times you see situations like this, the perception from the outside is that there's something wrong with that team. And that's the farthest thing from the truth right now. There's nothing wrong with this team. It's one of those situations like, for instance, the situation against the Yankees, the situation against Boston, and now the situation with us. I think all three situations, or instances, have made us a better group.''

On the field Monday, the Rays lineup has a different look, as B.J. Upton gets a turn at DH, giving him a chance to get off his feet after a busy weekend in the Texas heat. Justin Ruggiano is in center, and hitting second, against lefty Joe Saunders.

Here is the lineup:
Iwamura, 2b
Ruggiano, cf
Crawford, lf
Upton, dh
Longoria, 3b
Aybar, 1b
Navarro, c
Gross, rf
Bartlett, ss
Jackson, p

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:35am]


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