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Rays Tales: Matt Garza's no-hitter now the best single-game performance in Tampa Bay Rays history

Matt Garza made history, changed the world and raised the bar all in 2½ hours Monday night, throwing a no-hitter against the Tigers that immediately goes to the top of the list of the greatest single-day performances in Rays franchise history. Here's our look at the list:

1. Matt Garza's no-no

It took only 2,039 tries for a Rays pitcher to get 27 outs without allowing a hit, and Garza did it Monday vs. Detroit with flourish. Just a second-inning walk kept him from perfection, and he had great defense behind him.

2. Carl Crawford's wild runs

Crawford tied the modern-day major-league record by stealing six bases in a May 3, 2009, game vs. Boston. He became the fourth player in history (and first in 13 years) to bag such a six-pack.

3. B.J. Upton's cycle

Getting four hits in a game is hard enough. Getting a single, a double, a triple and a home run in one is truly an accomplishment. Upton did it in his first four at-bats Oct. 2, 2009, vs. the Yankees, one of 290 times it has happened in major-league history.

4. Soriano's double dip

It was a cold April 17 night in Boston this year when closer Rafael Soriano showed his new teammates a lot, saving two games four hours apart: the conclusion of the night-before's suspended game and the scheduled one.

5. Wade Boggs' historic moment

Wade Boggs had 286 games with three or more hits during his career, including 11 as a Ray. But his three-hit night Aug. 7, 1999, was one of a kind. He singled in the third and fourth innings, then in the sixth hit a home run for his historic 3,000th hit. He's the only one of the 27 players with 3,000 hits to get the mark with a homer.

6. Carl Crawford's busy night

It seemed liked just a mundane Wednesday in Toronto until Crawford got on base, came around and scored, and did it again and again. By the end of the night of May 24, 2006, he was 5-for-5, with five runs scored and four steals. He was the first since Rickey Henderson in April 1988 with five hits and four steals in a game.

7. Evan Longoria going long

The question is which was a bigger deal: Longoria hitting three homers (to match Jonny Gomes' team record; see No. 8) in a Sept. 18, 2008, regular-season game vs. the Twins, or hitting homers on his first two swings in the Rays' first playoff game, Oct. 2, 2008, vs. the White Sox (becoming the second player in major-league history to homer in his first two postseason at-bats).

8. Jonny Gomes' big blasts

Gomes had hit just nine homers in his first 174 big-league at-bats over 56 games. Then he hit three in three at-bats against the Royals on July 30, 2005.

9. Carlos Peña's delivery

Among the big days in Peña's 2007 renaissance was the most productive game in team history. Sept. 5 vs. the Orioles he drove in seven runs — a grand slam, a two-run homer and a sac fly — and scored four. The 7 RBIs broke what had been the longest-standing team record; Paul Sorrento had 6 on May 3, 1998.

10. Scotty K's fan club

It was less than three years ago — Aug. 25, 2007, to be exact — that Scott Kazmir was dominating hitters. He struck out a team-record 13 A's on his way to 239 for the season. Also worth mentioning: James Shields' one-hitter May 9, 2008, and Matt Garza's one-hitter June 26, 2008; Jared Sandberg's two homers in an inning June 11, 2002, and Julio Lugo's July 22, 2006; Tomas Perez's four doubles July 29, 2006.

Rays rumblings

Don Zimmer was surprised, and humbled, to find out Billy Crystal narrated the well-done MLB Network special about him, I've Seen It All. … Rocco Baldelli's brother, Dante, is a star on the Rhode Island state champion Little League team headed to regionals. … As if ex-Ray Aki Iwamura's year wasn't bad enough, struggling with the Pirates and getting sent to Triple A, he was hospitalized with a concussion last week after a basepath collision at Syracuse. … Not only did Joe Maddon intentionally walk Detroit's Miguel Cabrera three times last week with runners on first and second and a one-run lead in the seventh, he said he was "even thinking about" doing it with the bases loaded, though it would have tied the score.

Got a minute? Evan Longoria

Best meal you can make? Steak and potatoes. That's what I eat.

Karaoke song, if you had to? Probably Bon Jovi, Livin' on a Prayer, or something like that.

Oddest thing in your wallet? Photos of me and my mom when I was a baby that she gave me.

Late-night snack? McDonald's. Burgers and fries.

Dream date? At this point, (Sports Illustrated swimsuit model) Marisa Miller.

Rays Tales: Matt Garza's no-hitter now the best single-game performance in Tampa Bay Rays history 07/31/10 [Last modified: Saturday, July 31, 2010 8:15pm]
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