Saturday, July 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

David Price shines, Blake Snell struggles as Rays lose to Red Sox (w/video)

ST. PETERSBURG — In another time, George Hendrick would have approached David Price after a start like the one he had Monday with the line he used when a Rays pitcher pitched well: "Only two players could have hit you tonight. Babe Ruth and me."

Those were the days.

Now Price is with his third team since being traded away in July 2014, and Hendrick, the Rays' former first-base coach, is retired.

The 4.00 ERA is high for Price, and his 12-8 won-loss record is not what some in Boston expected when he signed his mega deal last offseason, but he proved Monday he can still be David Price.

The former ace of the Rays staff shut down his old team, holding the Rays to a pair of singles and two walks over eight scoreless innings in the Red Sox's 6-2 victory at Tropicana Field.

Evan Longoria's two-run homer in the ninth inning off reliever Matt Barnes prevented the Rays (52-73) from being shut out.

"(Price) was good, no doubt," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We had some success against him in the past. You could tell he was mixing his pitches well and keeping a lot of balls off the barrel and threw a good ballgame, and they made some nice plays behind him."

Price won for the first time at the Trop while pitching as a visitor, having lost his first three starts. He retired the first nine batters he faced, pitched to only three batters over the minimum and did not allow a runner to reach second base.

"It felt good for sure," Price said. "Made some good pitches. It's a tough team for me to pitch against here or on the road."

The game was a matchup of lefties from the Rays' past (Price) and their future, rookie Blake Snell.

Snell struggled against the AL wild card-leading Red Sox (70-54) and their patient and deep lineup.

"I was bad," he said.

Snell, making his 13th big-league start, failed to finish the fourth inning for the second time in his past three outings. He walked a career-high five, including three during a 40-pitch fourth inning. He was fortunate to escape with only two runs allowed.

When asked what he struggled with, Snell said, "Command, attacking, getting ahead. A whole lot. It's something I need to learn that, learn from, get better. I take it step by step and keep pushing forward."

Command has been the biggest culprit for Snell. He has walked 13 batters over his past 101/3 innings, a stretch that began with his four-walk night in Toronto two starts earlier when he lasted just 12/3 innings.

"Blake just kind of struggled to find the zone again, drove his pitch count up," Cash said.

"He did some good things, getting ahead of hitters. It just seemed like there were too many bullets wasted driving the pitch count up leading to too many walks. When you walk this team, you're going to make it difficult to win a ballgame, because they're so deep offensively."

     
             
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