Yankees lose as Garza outpitches Pettitte

May 12, 2008 7:38:42 PM PDT
Matt Garza pitched seven scoreless innings and the surging Tampa Bay Rays beat nemesis Andy Pettitte and the New York Yankees 7-1 for their fifth consecutive victory Monday night.Garza (2-1) allowed five hits, walked one and struck out three while holding the Yankees in check with help from three double plays. Only one baserunner, Alberto Gonzalez in the sixth, reached as far as second base against the right-hander.

Jason Bartlett and Dioner Navarro each drove in two runs for the Rays (22-16), who climbed six games over .500 for the first time in franchise history and also extended their home winning streak 10 games.

They did it by beating Pettitte (3-4), who was 8-1 at Tropicana Field before giving up five runs and eight hits in four innings. He's still an impressive 14-4 lifetime against Tampa Bay, however the Rays have won two of three matchups against him this season.

Gonzalez had two of the hits off Garza, who has won two of three starts since returning from a two-week stay on the disabled list with radial nerve irritation in his pitching arm. Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera had the other hits off the Rays starter.

Tampa Bay, coming off a weekend sweep of the Loa Angeles Angels, lost its bid for a third shutout in four games in the eighth inning.

Jose Molina doubled, leading off the inning against Gary Glover, and later scored when Johnny Damon grounded to first base.

On a day the Yankees learned they'll be without Alex Rodriguez for at least another week, Pettitte struggled against a division rival he's dominated for much of his career, especially at Tropicana Field.

The left-hander had won seven straight decisions in the domed stadium, dating to his only previous loss here on Sept. 16, 1998. The .888 career winning percentage he carried into Monday night was the second-best in the Rays' home behind Tim Wakefield's .900 (9-1).

Tampa Bay beat Pettitte 6-3 at Yankee Stadium on April 5, then 10 days later lost to him 5-3 at the Trop.

The Rays sandwiched two bloop singles to center around Jonny Gomes' first stolen base of the night to take a 1-0 lead in the second. They scored four more in the fourth on Bartlett's triple and RBI singles by Gomes and Akinori Iwamura.

Navarro's run-scoring single off Chris Britton made it 6-0 in the fifth and ended a streak of 15 consecutive scoreless innings by New York's bullpen.

Rodriguez, who hasn't played since April 28 because of a strained right quadriceps, had an MRI exam that showed he's not ready to rejoin the Yankees for this weekend's series against the crosstown Mets.

The three-time AL MVP worked out at the Yankees' minor league complex in Tampa before making the 30-minute trip to St. Petersburg to watch the game from the dugout.