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 strikes out career-high 12 as Tampa Bay Rays blank Cleveland Indians 5-0

ST. PETERSBURG — There was one brief moment Friday when David Price wasn't in complete command of the game.

That would be when the barrel of Grady Sizemore's broken bat helicoptered at him, striking him on the back of the head just before he dived face-first to the ground.

"Definitely scary," Price said. "Luckily I didn't get hurt. My dad told me I had a hard head, and I definitely believe him now."

Otherwise, Price was in control. And so were the Rays, losers of five of their past six, in beating the American League-leading Indians 5-0.

For seven innings, and that one scary moment, Price was dominant, striking out a career-high 12, one off the team record, and allowing only four hits.

He got all the help he needed early, as Casey Kotchman and Sam Fuld hit two-run homers in the second, then another run on the third hit of the night by Matt Joyce, who raised his MLB-leading average to .377. Plus, Fuld and shortstop Sean Rodriguez made dazzling plays in the field.

The victory, before 16,800 at Tropicana Field, was much needed by the Rays (27-23), as they opened a six-game home-stand against the first-place Indians and Rangers, before heading back out on an 11-game, four-city, country-crossing trip.

"A great way to start the homestand," Fuld said.

Price hadn't won either of his past two starts, and he wasn't happy about it. Friday there didn't seem to be any question, as he mixed his fastball, curve and what he called his best changeup of the season.

"That felt good," he said. "I needed that to get back on track."

His only real test came in the sixth, when he allowed back-to-back singles with one out, then struck out Shelly Duncan and Matt LaPorta.

"More like himself," manager Joe Maddon said.

The start of the seventh proved to be the most concerning moment, as Sizemore's bat broke as he hit a ground ball to second. The black barrel broke off and spun furiously as it headed toward the mound, and Price said he didn't really see it coming.

"I got out of the way right there at the end," he said. "I thought it was coming at me, then I lost it so I just tried to get out of the way."

There was definitely contact on the back of his head, he said, but no cut, bruise or damage.

"It got me square, so that's probably why it didn't hurt," Price said.

Maddon said the lack of injury was just good luck and renewed his years-long call for maple bats to be banned.

"It could have impaled (Price)," Maddon said. "It could have hit him in the face, hit him in the eye. There's so many things that could happen."

Price has had previous broken-bat incidents, and said he was more scared in the March 2010 game when Adrian Beltre's bat came at his face and cut the hand he put up in defense.

Friday, he finished the inning, with a walk and two strikeouts, and was finished for the night, joking afterward about how he was one shy of the strikeout record just tied by James Shields.

"(Pitching coach Jim) Hickey said Shields told Joe to pull me so I wouldn't beat it," Price said.

Rays 5

Indians 0

David Price strikes out career-high 12 as Tampa Bay Rays blank Cleveland Indians 5-0 05/27/11 [Last modified: Saturday, May 28, 2011 12:14am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jones: Koetter-Winston exchange highlights latest 'Hard Knocks'


    There are certain things that make HBO's Hard Knocks must-see television.

    Jameis Winston, left, has an exchange with Dirk Koetter that highlights Hard Knocks.
  2. Trevor Plouffe is DFA'd by Rays, Kittredge recalled for now


    INF Trevor Plouffe didn't do much with the opportunity the Rays gave him, and time ran out Tuesday when he was designated for assignment after the game.

    Plouffe hit just .178, with one homer and two RBIs, in 31 games for the Rays, his primary playing time from starting at first or third against lefties.

  3. Rays journal: Offense shows signs of waking up in win over Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The drought was so severe that it's still probably too soon to say the Rays are out of it, but scoring a half-dozen runs in Tuesday's 6-5 win over the Blue Jays was another promising sign.

    Corey Dickerson high-fives Wilson Ramos after hitting a solo home run in the third inning, putting the Rays up 2-1.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    C Wilson Ramos, coming off right knee surgery, often takes it easy on the bases, though it's not always a good look. But he hustled when he needed to Tuesday and got the Rays a run by beating out a two-out infield single, finishing with three more hits.

  5. Rays are full of ideas they'd like to share when commissioner visits

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Commissioner Rob Manfred is coming to the Trop today. Hmm. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg will be there to greet him. Hmmmm. And they have a scheduled joint media session. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred isn’t expected to say anything definitive about the Rays’ stadium situation when he visits the team today.