Rays 6, Blue Jays 4

Even after a sparkling performance, Tampa Bay pitcher David

Price was feeling frustrated about some unfinished business.

Ben Zobrist hit a three-run home run, Price remained perfect

against Toronto and the Rays held on to beat the Blue Jays 6-4 on

Saturday.

”We were up four going into the ninth and they were a base hit

away from tying the game up,” Price said. ”There’s no easy games

out here.”

Johnny Damon also went deep for the Rays, who snapped a two-game

skid.

Jose Bautista hit a pair of solo home runs, the 12th multihomer

game of his career, but the rest of the Blue Jays struggled against

Price, now 7-0 with a 2.30 ERA in eight career games against

Toronto. The Rays have won all eight games.

Price, who has won three straight starts, allowed three runs and

eight hits in eight-plus innings. He walked two and struck out

five.

”Outstanding,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ”Great command

of his stuff all night long. He threw the ball where he wanted to.

He pitched really, really well.”

Price, however, didn’t feel like celebrating after being unable

to finish in the ninth, with Kyle Farnsworth called on to record

his fifth save.

”I was disappointed in myself,” Price said. ”(Maddon) lets me

go out there and try to finish and I’ve got to be able to do it.

It’s unfortunate. You’ve got to go out there in the ninth inning

and shut the door.”

The left-hander started the ninth but was replaced after Adam

Lind’s RBI double and Jose Molina’s single. Farnsworth came on and

gave up an RBI single to Juan Rivera, then went down clutching his

left knee trying to field Travis Snider’s sacrifice, which put

runners at second and third.

After a visit from the trainer and anxious Maddon, Farnsworth

stayed in the game and got John McDonald to bounced back to the

mound for the second out. Mike McCoy ended it by grounding to

third.

”Of course (Price) wanted to finish that but it was just not

going to work that way if I’d left him out there, based on their

momentum at that point,” Maddon said.

Bautista hit a two-out drive to left-center in the first and

followed that with a one-out blast to left in the fourth that just

cleared the wall. The homers were his sixth and seventh.

”He’s very reminiscent of Barry Bonds in 2002,” Maddon said.

”He looks like that where every time he swings the bat, it looks

like it’s going to go over the wall. Just tremendous plate

discipline, very aggressive swing. It’s an understatement to say

that he’s locked in right now. He’s hitting as though there’s a

league above this one.

Bautista, who walked in the seventh and singled in the ninth,

has reached base in 10 consecutive plate appearances.

Price (3-2) didn’t allow a hit to another Blue Jays batter until

Molina’s one-out single in the seventh. He got some help from his

defense to escape that inning, with left fielder Sam Fuld making a

diving catch on Snider’s two-out liner, stranding runners at first

and second.

Unbeknownst to him, Fuld narrowly avoided a collision with Upton

on the play.

”I was locked in on the ball,” Fuld said. ”It wasn’t until

after I caught it and looked back and B.J. was sprawled out that I

realized ‘Oh, we both dove for it.’ I had no idea. His eyes were

the size of baseballs, like he just avoided a car wreck. After the

fact I realized that yeah, I avoided a car wreck.”

Fuld, who came in tied with New York’s Alex Rodriguez for the AL

batting lead, went 1 for 3 with two walks, dropping his average to

.365.

Price got some more help in the eighth, getting out of a

first-and-third, one-out jam by getting Corey Patterson to ground

into a double play.

Making his first start after opening the season on the disabled

list with a sore elbow, Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow (0-1)

looked shaky in the first, walking leadoff hitter Fuld and giving

up a two-run homer to Damon, his fourth.

Morrow soon settled, striking out the next three batters and

allowing just two hits, both singles, over the next four

innings.

On Aug. 8, Morrow threw a one-hitter and struck out a

career-high 17 in a 1-0 home win over the Rays, his first complete

game. Evan Longoria broke up the no-hit bid with a two-out infield

single in the ninth.

Carlos Villanueva replaced Morrow after Fuld walked and Damon

struck out in the sixth. Matt Joyce walked and Zobrist followed

with a booming three-run drive into the second deck in right, his

fourth.

Morrow allowed three runs and three hits in 5 1-3 innings. He

walked two and struck out 10.

The Rays tacked on an insurance run against Casey Janssen in the

seventh, with Sean Rodriguez scoring on Damon’s fielder’s

choice.

NOTES: The Blue Jays placed INF Jayson Nix (left shin contusion)

on the 15-day DL and recalled McCoy from Triple-A Las Vegas. Nix

left Friday’s game in the second inning after Rodriguez slid into

him while trying to break up a double play. … Toronto 3B Edwin

Encarnacion was scratched from the lineup with a sore left wrist

and replaced by McDonald. … Blue Jays 2B Aaron Hill (right

hamstring) did some light jogging but sat out his third straight

game. Toronto manager John Farrell said a decision will be made

Sunday whether to put Hill on the DL. … Rays INF Felipe Lopez,

who was yanked from Friday’s game after failing to run out a

groundball, did not start. Maddon said he discussed the incident

with Lopez before Saturday’s game.