Only three games into the season, Evan Longoria has already punched his name into the American League MVP race.

And Matt Garza made a loud statement that the Rays aren’t a flash in the pan.

Garza allowed one run over seven innings of work to win the rubber match between Tampa Bay and the Boston Red Sox. Longoria collected three hits including a two-run home run over the Green Monster in the third inning to give the Rays a 3-0 lead in the third inning.

The win didn’t come as easy as advertised for Tampa Bay though as Jason Varitek hit a solo-shot in the bottom of the ninth to cut the lead to one, 4-3, but Troy Percival got Kevin Youkilis to fly out to deep center with one man on to end the game.

Goat of the Game – Daisuke Matsuzaka
Matsuzaka just got flat out raked today. It felt as if almost every ball was hit hard off him in the loss.

Dice-K gave up three homers total — Matt Joyce in the first and Shawn Riggins in the fourth, both solo — in 5 1/3 innings pitched allowing four runs on nine hits.

Next Game – Fri. 4/10 vs. Los Angeles Angels – Tim Wakefield/Shane Loux

Tim Wakefield is 9-12 lifetime against the Angels with a 4.80 ERA (82 ER/153.2 IP) in 28 games, 23 games started.

Shane Loux will make his first Major League start since 2003 on Friday. Loux is a 6’2 right-handed thrower from Rapid City, San Diego. The last big league club he pitched for was the Seattle Mariners in 2007. He pitched in an independent league in Florida in 2008.