Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays beat Reds after tense ninth

CINCINNATI — David Price really wanted to finish what he started Friday night, and manager Joe Maddon was willing, on the right terms, to give him that chance.

But that all went away after a bizarre ninth-inning mix-up on a missed sign, and the Rays, after closer Grant Balfour walked the bases loaded, were happy to get away with a 2-1 interleague victory over the Reds.

"It wasn't one my best nights as far as executing the pitches," Balfour said. "I guess you'd have to say I executed when it counted."

Price was sharp from the start, and it looked for much of the night that the 2-0 lead via an Evan Longoria RBI single in the first and a massive third-inning homer by Matt Joyce, estimated at 452 feet, plus their usual dose of dazzling defense (Desmond Jennings, Ben Zobrist) was going to be enough for the Rays (6-5).

Price sensed the chance for what would have been his third complete-game shutout. He did what he could to stay in the game, throwing only 11 pitches in the seventh and six in the eighth, to push his total to 107.

"I definitely wanted to finish that game," he said.

Maddon agreed to let him try, though Price had to agree during his ninth-inning at-bat to not even swing, so as not to expend any extra energy.

"You're respecting David there also a little bit," Maddon said. "As he continues to become who he is, and is one of the best pitchers in major league baseball, you want to give him that opportunity. You don't want to get in the way of him becoming great. That's part of my logic in that moment."

Price got the first out of the ninth, striking out Brandon Phillips after a delay for a discussion and then a replay review on a potential hit-by-pitch. Then he faced Joey Votto, the dangerous left-handed hitter, and the batter Maddon really wanted the lefty Price to handle.

After a first-pitch strike, Price, who found Great American Ball Park to be a little dark, said he thought he saw catcher Jose Molina put down one finger for a fastball away. Molina actually had put down two, calling for a curve. Votto crushed it into the leftfield seats, making it a 2-1 game and ending Price's night, still impressive with four hits, 10 strikeouts and 85 strikes in 114 pitches.

"Obviously we didn't cross up Votto," Price said. "I was having trouble seeing the signs all night. That's my fault. Stupid."

Maddon then called for Balfour, and things got interesting from there.

Balfour, after getting one out, walked Jay Bruce. Then he walked Todd Frazier to put the winning run on base. Then he threw a wild pitch that moved the runners up. Then he walked Devin Mesoraco to load the bases.

And then he struck out pinch-hitter Brayan Pena to end it.

Balfour and Molina were having obvious issues getting together. And Maddon said he thought Balfour needed to throw his fastball more.

"He was a little bit too careful and threw too many breaking balls," Maddon said.

Bottom line, Balfour said afterward, the Rays won.

"I usually don't walk three guys in a row like that; it's something to move on to the next day," he said. "I know I'm better than that."

Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@tampabay.com.

The 150 club

Among active pitchers with at least 150 starts, Rays left-hander David Price is the winningest:

PitcherW-LPct.
David Price73-39.652
Tim Hudson207-111.649
Jered Weaver113-62.646

Rays beat Reds after tense ninth 04/11/14 [Last modified: Saturday, April 12, 2014 12:01am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. NFL Week 3: What we learned

    Bucs

    Take the knee … well, not NOW

     1. Photo of Roger Mooney for Times Sports.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Chris Archer's primary problem Sunday, as in much of September, was a lack of slider command. When he can't throw it where he wants, and doesn't have the confidence in the changeup to throw it often, he can't win with just his fastball.

  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. Bradenton high school senior Chasten Whitfield inspires young anglers

    Outdoors

    MADEIRA BEACH — The kids lined up single file, snow cones in hand, a procession of sweaty, excited grade schoolers watching Chasten Whitfield throw a cast net.

    Whitfield, a senior at Bradenton Manatee, demonstrates how to throw a cast net at the FishKids tournament in Madeira Beach. She also taught knot tying.
  5. Wreck helps Kyle Busch take control of Monster Cup's ISM 300

    Auto racing

    LOUDON, N.H. — Kyle Busch saw little but billowing white smoke that engulfed the track and blinded enough drivers that it caused a tremendous wreck that notably altered the race running order.

    Kyle Busch celebrates with a burnout after his third victory of the season that earns a berth in the second round of NASCAR’s playoffs. He also has some fun with Loudon the Lobster.