Garza knocked around, falls to Rockies

Garza knocked around, falls to Rockies

DENVER -- Matt Garza sat in front of his locker and buried his face in a blue towel. David Price walked up to him, patted him on the back and tried to console a heartbroken Garza before heading to his locker about five stalls away.

For the second successive game, a home run-filled inning cost the Rays as they fell to the Rockies, 4-3, on Thursday at Coors Field in front of 28,639. Like Price the night before, when he gave up two home runs in a four-run second inning during a 5-3 Rays loss, Garza was the victim.

Garza allowed back-to-back home runs in the third -- a two-out, two-run shot by second baseman Clint Barmes on a hanging 2-2 slider, and then a solo shot by first baseman Todd Helton on a 1-1, 95-mph fastball, to turn a 1-0 lead into a 3-1 deficit. Garza was victimized again the next inning when Carlos Gonzalez took him deep to right field.

"He got me," Garza said of Barmes' home run. "I shouldn't have thrown the slider. I should've stayed with the fastball and he got me. What do you do?"

Garza (4-5) took the loss, as he yielded four runs on five hits and five strikeouts in five innings. He was unable to pitch past the sixth inning for the third consecutive game, and he hasn't won since May 16 against the Indians.

"I've just got to start pitching better," Garza said. "That's all I can say."

Rays catcher Dioner Navarro, who went 2-for-3, thought Garza wasn't as bad as he thinks.

"He threw the ball well, he was getting ahead and he was working the hitters," Navarro said. "Overall, I think he did a great job.

"He gave us a chance. Four runs, I think we can overcome that deficit many times, and we fell short this time. That's the bottom line."

The Rays tried to get Garza off the hook with a furious rally in the ninth. B.J. Upton and Carl Crawford led off with singles to left field off Rockies closer Huston Street. After Upton and Crawford swiped second and third base, Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena struck out swinging. Ben Zobrist kept the game alive by lining a 3-2 pitch to center field for a two-run single before Gabe Gross lined out to Barmes to end the game.

After scoring 12 runs in the first game of the series against the Rockies, the Rays have lost the last two and the series because of missed opportunities. They stranded 12 baserunners Thursday and have scored three runs in both losses. Rays manager Joe Maddon remains upbeat despite the team's inability to come through.

"I love the way we're playing, actually," Maddon said. "The first night, we beat them up pretty good. They outpitched us for two nights in two well-played games. We just could not get the hit when we needed to."

Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez earned the win to even his record at 6-6. He threw 117 pitches and gave up one earned run on six hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.

The Rays took an early 1-0 lead in the second on Navarro's two-out RBI single to center field, scoring shortstop Jason Bartlett. Bartlett tripled into the left-center-field gap to extend his career-high hitting streak to 13 games.

Cheng Sio is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.