Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

David Price leads Tampa Bay Rays' 9-3 win over New York Yankees

ST. PETERSBURG — This was exactly the kind of dazzling performance the Rays think David Price is capable of most times he takes the mound. Friday, it was precisely what they needed.

Not just because the 9-3 victory extended their start to a franchise-best-matching 3-1. And not just because the dreaded Yankees were in town — though that certainly made it better. But because with the bullpen tired and tattered, it's what elite pitchers are supposed to do.

Price was dominating, scattering seven hits and striking out seven while working 72/3 innings, the most of his 25 career big-league starts. Manager Joe Maddon and catcher Dioner Navarro couldn't say enough, Maddon surmising, "That had to be the best I've ever seen him."

Price, typically, wasn't anywhere near satisfied.

"That's not good enough for me," he said. "I'm thrilled that we won, but a lot of room for improvement. A lot of room."

Price, 24, got plenty of support.

From his hitters, with two-run homers by Carlos Peña, his first of the season, and Willy Aybar, in his first start ahead of Pat Burrell at designated hitter. From his bullpen, as Lance Cormier got the key 24th out and Mike Ekstrom the final three. From his defense, leftfielder Carl Crawford making yet another highlight-reel play. And even from the Tropicana Field crowd of 33,221, which, in the relative world of Rays baseball, was notable in being mostly for the real home team.

Price was electric from the start, striking out three of the first five Yankees, hitting 96 mph on the stadium gun and 97 on FSN's and maintaining his velocity with 95s in the eighth.

The key with him is command of his fastball. And he had it early, needing just 66 pitches over the first six innings (though 45 over the remaining 12/3.)

"I've said it 203 times, I think: When he gets fastball command, everything else works off it," Maddon said.

And what makes Price a different and better pitcher than when he was sent to Triple A at the start of last season is what he complements the fastball with — a curveball Maddon said "pretty much at this time last year was nonexistent," a slider that was "inconsistent" and a changeup that was "a novice pitch." Add in a two-seam fastball he picked up in July from former quality assurance coach Todd Greene, and he has a full repertoire.

Plus, Maddon said, "He loves the moment. There's no doubt about that."

The Yanks have seen him five times and haven't figured him out, with a team .153 average.

"He really didn't make any mistakes," Mark Teixeira said.

"Outstanding," Jorge Posada said.

After a single, an Alex Rodriguez triple and an errant Navarro throw gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead, the Rays scored five.

"Our first real frenzied kind of inning," Maddon said.

Peña had the big blow, a two-run homer to right, and Jason Bartlett added a two-run double that got by the Yankees' current leftfielder, Marcus Thames, but might have been caught by a speedier one.

Another accomplishment: The Rays got the Yankees to make 27 outs in less than three hours, which was neither pathetic nor embarrassing.

Marc Topkin can be reached at

David Price leads Tampa Bay Rays' 9-3 win over New York Yankees 04/09/10 [Last modified: Saturday, April 10, 2010 12:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. FSU-Bama 'almost feels like a national championship game Week 1'


    The buzz is continuing to build for next Saturday's blockbuster showdown between No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Florida State.

  2. Tampa lawyer Fred Ridley to be new chairman of Augusta National, Masters' home (w/ video)


    AUGUSTA, Ga. — Fred Ridley first came to Augusta National to compete in the 1976 Masters as the U.S. Amateur champion, and he played the opening round in the traditional pairing with the defending champion, Jack Nicklaus.

  3. Rays send down Chase Whitley, Andrew Kittredge; add Chih-Wei Hu, activate Alex Cobb


    After having to cover more than five innings following a short start by Austin Pruitt, the Rays shuffled their bullpen following Wednesday's game, sending down RHPs Chase Whitley and Andrew Kittredge,

    The Kittredge move was expected, as he was summoned to add depth to the pen Wednesday in advance of RHP Alex …

  4. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred moves closer to wanting a decision on Rays stadium

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred called Wednesday for urgency from Tampa Bay area government leaders to prioritize and move quicker on plans for a new Rays stadium.

    MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred talks with reporters at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    The Austin Pruitt experiment might be over, or at least put on pause. After allowing six runs over seven innings to Seattle on Friday, the rookie didn't get through the fourth Wednesday, giving up five runs on four homers. His ERA for past six starts: 5.29.