Thursday, June 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

David Price pitches shutout, Tampa Bay Rays hit four homers in 5-0 win over Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

ST. PETERSBURG — David Price had already done quite a bit Tuesday.

He battled through the ninth inning to complete a five-hit shutout in the 5-0 win over the Angels with 119 pitches. Did an on-field TV interview with Todd Kalas, then pulled on the headset to talk with radio guys Andy Freed and Dave Wills. He took a shaving cream pie in the face from James Shields.

Then when he finally made his way up the stairs and into the Rays clubhouse came the roughest part of the night. His teammates lined up in a combination gauntlet-receiving line, waiting for him to pull the cord on the Captain Morgan lamp in the corner of the clubhouse that signals the start of the victory party then pummeling him in celebration.

"They hit some balls hard today. I had some fortunate double plays and some line drives right at guys," Price said. "But I took a beating when I got in here. … Everybody starts jumping on me and pulling my clothes off. It's all in good fun. … And it was a pretty good day."

When Price was a few minutes late coming out of the trainer's room to address the media, reliever J.P. Howell joked aloud that it was because he was icing sore ribs.

"Definitely pitching was way easier than getting through that line," Howell said. "He's definitely bruised up, banged up now. … It's a good hurt though. It hurts so good."

The Rays had reason to be happy, winning for the fifth time in six games to improve to 10-7.

In addition to Price's stellar effort — "Best I've ever seen him," Carlos Peña said — they had their trademark handful of defensive gems (topped by Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria) and the added element of power, with four home runs, including the 1,000th hit of Peña's career.

Also going deep: Desmond Jennings (to start the game), B.J Upton (his first of the season), Luke Scott (for a team-high 15 RBIs).

Peña was emotional about reaching the milestone, humbled to have played that long and touched that a young fan returned the ball.

"It's a tale of a dream come true," Peña said. "I'm grateful about getting one hit. I dreamt about getting one hit. So for me to be able to get 1,000, I can't put it into words how special it is for me. The one thing that sticks out is that I'm grateful. Extremely grateful to be able to sit here and say, 'Wow, I've gotten 1,000 hits in the big leagues.'

"That's a lot to me. Maybe that mark is not as celebrated in baseball because we celebrate 2,000, we celebrate 3,000. I celebrated my first one. I celebrated the fact that I got one. So 1,000 is just icing on the cake — and a lot more icing on the cake."

Even more fitting for Peña, it was a home run, the 262nd of his 12-year career. "That makes it even more special, more dramatic," he said. "I cherish the moment. For me, it's something very special."

The milestones were less monumental for Price: His second career shutout and third complete game (second of nine innings).

But he felt pretty good, too, as manager Joe Maddon allowed him the opportunity for the complete game, and the crowd of 14,933 (back to midweek reality) roared as he finished.

"That's what a starting pitcher's goal is every time out," Price said. "It's not a quality start — you can go six (innings) and three (earned runs) all year long and have a 4.50 ERA and everyone's telling you you're a slob. Absolutely, nine innings is our goal every time out."

Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected]

   
Comments
Missed time a good mental reset for Rays’ Matt Duffy

Missed time a good mental reset for Rays’ Matt Duffy

ST. PETERSBURG — Missing all of 2017 might have been the absolute worst thing for Matt Duffy.Frustratingly idled as he eventually recovered and rehabbed from ongoing left heel issues, he couldn't play the game he loved, couldn't show the Rays o...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

HOUSTON — The Rays were engaged in a third straight tight, go-either-way battle with the defending champ Astros on Wednesday.Until they were not.A brutal seven-pitch sequence by starter Nathan Eovaldi changed everything, as he gave up three con...
Published: 06/21/18
Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

HOUSTON — The Rays saw a lot on the weeklong trip that ended with Wednesday's game against that Astros, beyond the street hustlers prowling in Times Square and the urban cowboys and girls parading through H-town.There was an impressive debuting...
Published: 06/20/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

RHP Nathan Eovaldi said before his rough start Wednesday against the Astros that he was pitching better than his numbers showed. Well … In four starts since his six no-hit innings debut, he's 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA, allowing eight homers, four Wed...
Published: 06/20/18
For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

UPDATE, 6:43: Cash said the key to how the pieced the lineup together was the opportunity to give Cron (who is struggling) and Duffy (who is doing well) back to back days off. … Looking ahead to the weekend, the Rays will use RHP Ryne Stanek as...
Published: 06/20/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Kevin Kiermaier returns to the Rays

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Kevin Kiermaier returns to the Rays

Times sports columnist Tom Jones joins Rick Stroud to discuss Kevin Kiermaier's return to the Rays, whether Victor Hedman should win the Norris Trophy for the NHL's best defenseman, Bucs expectations for this season and Barry Trotz's next c...
Published: 06/20/18
How the Rays really won Tuesday’s game over Astros

How the Rays really won Tuesday’s game over Astros

There was some interesting inside baseball elements that factored into the late innings of Tuesday's 2-1 Rays win.* First, on Matt Duffy's double off reliever Hector Rondon to lead off the eighth.Duffy said he doesn't like "to guess" what a pitcher i...
Published: 06/20/18
Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier returns, with energy to spare

Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier returns, with energy to spare

HOUSTON — Energy.That's what Kevin Kiermaier said he felt he'd provide most in rejoining the Rays Tuesday against the Astros after missing two-plus months recovering from thumb surgery."I like to think I bring energy on both sides of the ball, ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Rays journal: Blake Snell outlasts Justin Verlander in 2-1 win

Rays journal: Blake Snell outlasts Justin Verlander in 2-1 win

HOUSTON — The starting pitcher walked seven over seven otherwise solid innings Tuesday. That seemed weird enough for the Rays. Then the next pitcher they brought in was the one who started Monday's game. Even more bizarre.And then there was thi...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Astros

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Astros

This is how odd LHP Blake Snell's night was — he became the first pitcher to work seven or more innings and walk at least seven since Edwin Jackson threw his 149-pitch, eight-walk no-hitter at the Rays on June 25, 2010.If you weren't aware of t...
Published: 06/19/18