Price Pitches 10 strike-out, 4 hit Gem, Rays One Game Out

By on May 5, 2011

David Price working on his four hit, ten strike-out, no walk gem at the Trop against Toronto Thursday afternoon. (photo by Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE)

St. Petersburg, Fl. (RSEN) — The Tampa Bay Rays broke up a pitcher’s duel  in the home half of the 3rd when shortstop Sean Rodriguez lined a double down the line in left.  Catcher John Jasso would not be out done as he lined his own double down the right field line to score Rodriguez.  Sam Fuld would hit a long out to left for the first out, only a minor speed bump as Jasso tagged to third. Ben Zobrist would then draw a walk.  With Rays on the corners, Johnny Damon would nub a roller up third that Jays third baseman Mike McCoy could not come up with.  Jasso would plate on what was Damon’s 2,599 career hit tying him for 75th all-time with “Forearms” himself, Steve Garvey.  Evan Longoria would walk pushing Zobrist and Damon up 90 feet.  Matt Joyce then hit a deep sac fly scoring  Zobrist; BJ Upton would bounce into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.   The Rays hang the crooked 3; for that would be plenty for Tampa starter David Price.

The Blue Jays got a glimmer of hope in their half of the 5th when left fielder Juan Rivera ripped the cowhide down third.  Like I said glimmer, because Rivera was thrown by Rays left fielder Sam Fuld who made a nice one hop throw to Ben Zobrist.  Rivera was trying to stretch it into double.  Well maybe trying is an overstatement; Rivera clearly slowed up when he was wthin 30 feet of second base. The play was real close until Rivera slid past the bag while Zobrist continued applying the tag.  That would only be the second Blue Jays hit through the first five innings.

The Rays next hit came in the 5th when Johnny Damon doubled for his 2,600 career hit giving him sole possesion of 75th place.

The big story was David Price. Price, who seemingly silently cruised through the Blue Jays batting order only giving up four hits, striking out ten, walking none, with no earned runs.  After the game Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Price’s performance, “I’m more impressed with no walks than ten strikeouts.” 

The lone Jays run came compliments of a Sean Rodriguez throwing error.  Sean’s errant throw to first set up Jays second baseman John Mc Donald at second.  McDonald would tag up to third on a fly ball by Rajai Davis and then raced home when Corey Patterson bounced to second.  With two outs in the ninth and 118 pitches notch, Joe Maddon pulled price to a small chorus of boos.  Kyle Farnswoth would come in and give up a single to Yunel Escobar but then getting designated hitter Adam Lind to drill a ground ball right at Casey Kotchman who trotted to first for the put-out. Farnsworth would pick up his 6th save of the season.

David Price said after the game, “I wanted to finish it. That’s for sure, but you know Farnsy did a great job finishing it out…If you can keep the walks down it’s keeping people off the bases and it’s keeping people from crossing home plate.”  Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell said of Price, “He was strong. He kept his velocity for eight-plus innings he was in there.  I thought he had a lot of strikes on the inside part of the plate and caught a number of guys looking.”

The Rays, who trail the NY Yankees by one game, head off tonight for Baltimore for a three game weekend set with the Orioles.  Monday is a day off, three at Cleveland and then back home starting May 13th for three with Baltimore and three big one with the Yankees.

On a pretty neat side note as the Rays left Tropicana for Baltimore today on their second themed road trip, the players, coaches and broadcasters are wearing Navy Seal Team Six shirts in tribute to the Seals effort in Pakistan.  The team also wore the Lightning hats from their last themed trip.  Joe Maddon said of the theme trip, “We got the Seals Six shirt on today to honor the group that went in and got the gentlemen over in Pakistan there.  So we are wearing that today.  We’re also honoring the Lightning by wearing their hats too, great job, a  four game sweep is not easy. I guess they may play Boston next?  I love when Tampa Bay plays Boston!” (rooms fills with laughter)

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