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Garza pitches first no-hitter in Rays' history

Matt Garza pitched the first no-hitter in Tampa Bay Rays history and the fifth in the major leagues this season, beating the visiting Tigers, 5-0, last night.

Garza faced the minimum 27 batters, allowing only a second-inning walk, for a team that's often been on the wrong end of pitching gems lately.

"We needed one. I don't care who it came from. We just needed one for our own confidence," Garza said, mindful that the Rays have been held hitless four times in their 13-season history - three times in the past year. "The guys are just as excited as I am. It's fun."

The last time there were at least five no-hitters in a season was 1991, when Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan threw one of seven in the big leagues that year, according to STATS LLC.

"It was one of those days where everything lined up," Garza said. "The defense made great plays. I really can't say enough about them."

Garza, the 2008 AL Championship Series MVP, rebounded from one of his worst outings this season to win his fourth straight decision and tie a career best for victories. He retired pinch hitter Ramon Santiago for the final out on an easy fly ball to rightfielder Ben Zobrist, who made a terrific running catch in the third to rob Danny Worth.

"That ninth inning," Garza said, "I kept telling myself, 'Just finish it, just finish it, just battle, battle. If it's meant to happen, it's going to happen.' "

Garza's teammates mobbed him near the mound after a performance that left the Mets and Padres as the only big-league teams without a no-hitter.

Twins 19, Royals 1

Joe Mauer had five hits and a career-best seven RBIs, and Danny Valencia went 4-for-4 with a grand slam, his first big- league home run, for visiting Minnesota.

Blue Jays 9, Orioles 5

Jose Bautista hit his major league-leading 28th home run, and Aaron Hill and Adam Lind also connected for host Toronto.

Hill hit a two-run homer in the fourth, and the Blue Jays smacked two more in the fifth. Bautista hit a three-run shot and Lind added a solo blast. Toronto leads baseball with 152 homers, including a league-high 37 in July. The Blue Jays also lead the majors with 82 homers in home games.

Phillies 5, Rockies 4

Brad Lidge pounced on the soft tapper from Ryan Spilborghs, set his feet and fired to first baseman Ryan Howard. The Phillies' closer had survived yet another bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning as host Philadelphia completed a four-game sweep.

Seth Smith hit a two-out, two-run homer off Lidge in the ninth before Colorado went on to load the bases, but Spilborghs hit a little bouncer to the left side of the mound. Lidge came in and made a strong throw to first for the final out, getting his 10th save in 13 chances.

A day earlier, Lidge struck out Ian Stewart with the bases loaded to preserve a 4-3 win.

Catcher Brian Schneider's two-run triple sent the Phillies toward their fifth straight win.

 

Cubs 5, Astros 2

Geovany Soto drove in two runs, and Alfonso Soriano had two doubles and an RBI for visiting Chicago. Cubs starter Carlos Silva (10-4) yielded five hits and one run, striking out four, to get the win after two straight losses.

 

Brewers 3, Reds 2

Pinch hitter Jim Edmonds homered with two outs in the eighth after just missing a go-ahead shot on the previous pitch for host Milwaukee.

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