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Longoria slams Rays past Jays



Grandslam_2 ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Rookie All-Star Evan Longoria hit his first career grand slam during a five-run sixth and Matt Garza threw 7 2-3 scoreless innings to help the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays past the Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 on Saturday night.

Longoria has struggled recently, going 3-for-23 with no RBIs in his previous seven games. He broke out the slide in a big way with the bases-clearing drive off Toronto ace Roy Halladay (11-7) to put the Rays ahead 5-0.

Garza (8-5) allowed two hits - coming on singles in the third by Scott Rolen and Marco Scutaro during the seventh - and struck out six. The right-hander was coming off a start on July 12 when he gave up seven runs and 11 hits in five innings of an 8-4 loss at Cleveland.

The Rays have won two in a row following a seven-game losing streak. Tampa Bay has a 1 1-2 game lead over Boston, which lost 4-2 to the Los Angeles Angels.

(Pictured: Aki Iwamura, left, Evan Longoria, center, and Carl Crawford, right. Times photo -- Edmund D. Fountain. Click to enlarge.)

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:37am]


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