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