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Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Garza angry that Baltimore Orioles' Luke Scott used Bible to criticize him

BALTIMORE — RHP Matt Garza didn't really care what Orioles DH Luke Scott had to say about him. But he did not care much for how Scott did so, invoking biblical proverbs.

"To each his own interpretation; that's what the Bible is. I'm a Christian, too; a Catholic Christian. He's throwing something in that shouldn't even be allowed to be brought in," Garza said. "That's a topic where you don't ever bring that up. …

"My feeling is that God has a lot better things to worry about than if I'm going to throw a strike on a certain pitch. A lot of other things. I'd rather (Scott) not bring it up."

But Scott, informed post-game of Garza's comments, insisted that was his right.

"He's just saying religion is not something you bring into baseball,'' Scott said. "It's all a matter of choice. That's not how I view it. I consider it a blessing to be here, and I am thankful for the opportunity to play. And that's just my personal beliefs.''

The backstory was that going into Friday's game, Garza said he was seeking payback for how the Orioles did against him in their previous meeting. After Garza led the Rays to a win, Scott admitted Garza was successful but chastised him for boasting, citing a Proverb that "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

Garza, though, said Scott is being somewhat hypocritical given his elaborate home run celebration that includes pointing to the sky, hugging the on-deck hitter and high-fiving multiple teammates, including a choreographed slap-fest with Felix Pie.

"It's the same thing, where you're showing up the other guy," Garza said. "The game's gone that far to where it's acceptable. It's just what it is."

BIGGER PRIZE: RHP Wade Davis takes the mound today leading AL rookies with 11 wins and a 4.29 ERA and could make a run at the rookie of the year award, manager Joe Maddon said.

"Why not? I'd like to believe that a strong finish would mean something," Maddon said. "There's no reason why Wade should not be considered strongly."

Detroit OF Austin Jackson and Rangers RHP Neftali Feliz are considered the frontrunners.

Davis will try today to tie the team record of seven consecutive wins, shared by RHP Jeff Niemann (2008-09) and ex-Ray Mark Hendrickson (2005).

ROUGH START: RHP Jeremy Hellickson acknowledged the difference of pitching out of the bullpen for the first time, especially after warming up twice then briefly for a third time before coming in during the fifth inning. But that wasn't an excuse for his poor performance, allowing six of the batters he faced to get hits.

"It was different, but I shouldn't go out there and give up that many hits,'' he said. "I felt fine. I thought my stuff was good. They just hit some really good pitches.''

LEANING LEFT: Maddon said most likely the Rays will choose between Jake McGee and Brian Shouse to add a lefty to the bullpen, but it was possible they would promote both. Shouse, though, would have to be added to the 40-man roster.

MIX AND MATCH: The decision on whether to start Brad Hawpe or Dan Johnson at DH against right-handers is essentially a matter of reviewing statistics and matchups.

But, Maddon said, there is also some obligation to give Hawpe an opportunity after he chose to sign with the Rays after his release by Colorado.

"We picked up Brad for a reason, and I think he needs a chance to show that right now," Maddon said. "There were other teams involved, and he chose us. I think it's incumbent upon us to throw him out there at some point to see how this thing's going to work."

MISCELLANY: The Rays have gone a season-high 10 straight games without an error. … Umpires used instant replay to confirm the call that Scott had a double in the fifth, not a home run. … Brad Hawpe's ninth-inning homer was his first hit as a Ray. … Class A Charlotte faces Bradenton in the opening round best-of-three FSL playoffs starting Tuesday. … Triple-A Durham is so shorthanded that pitcher Bobby Livingston was the DH.

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Garza angry that Baltimore Orioles' Luke Scott used Bible to criticize him 09/04/10 [Last modified: Sunday, September 5, 2010 1:00am]

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