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' Price limits damage without best stuff

ST. PETERSBURG — Cy Young-winning left-hander David Price admitted he wasn't at his best Tuesday in a 7-4 opening day loss to the Orioles.

Price never felt like he settled in, with manager Joe Maddon saying his fastball didn't have its typical velocity.

But Price battled after giving up a two-run homer in the first inning to Matt Wieters, shutting out the Orioles from there and leaving after the sixth in line for the win.

"You don't just come out here and turn yourself into Cy Young in the first outing," Price said. "I'm fine with the way I threw the ball. I battled. When you don't have your best stuff, that's what you've got to do, and I felt like I did okay" Tuesday.

Price said his lowest velocity month last year — when he went on to win 20 games and start the All-Star Game — was in April, and it's part of the "growing process."

But he was disappointed he put the Rays in an early hole, hanging a changeup to Wieters that led to the two-out, two-run homer. It was the first time Price gave up a first-inning homer since July 20, 2011, to the Yankees' Curtis Granderson.

"That's something I want to stay away from," Price said.

After the homer, Price allowed seven baserunners but stranded them all, including getting Chris Davis to ground into an inning-ending double play in the third.

Maddon didn't know why Price was a "little off," whether he was "overamped" or not, but said his ability to escape and give his team a chance in a 100-pitch outing "is also the sign of an excellent pitcher."

"I just think that the fastball wasn't as spiffy as it normally is, and I think that might've been the difference in the game," Maddon said. "Again, without his best stuff, to get that deep, 3-2 with the lead, I was very pleased with that."

Price, who struck out four and walked two, said he needs to do a better job of getting ahead of hitters than he did Tuesday. He gave credit to the Orioles, saying that "one through nine, they can swing the bat."

Centerfielder Adam Jones, who entered Tuesday 5-for-29 against Price, and Wieters, who was 7-for-27, combined for four of the Orioles' seven hits against him.

"Their approach might have been a little bit different," Maddon said. "And they got him."

But after Wieters drew a 13-pitch walk in the third, Price limited the damage.

"He didn't break," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He kept his team in the game. He got some big outs, some double play balls and things that kept us from breaking the game open a little bit."

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@tampabay.com.

David Price, who struck out four and walked two, said he needs to do a better job of getting ahead of hitters than he did Tuesday.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

David Price, who struck out four and walked two, said he needs to do a better job of getting ahead of hitters than he did Tuesday.

Rays' Price limits damage without best stuff 04/02/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 10:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays at Jays, looking for some carryover

    Blogs

    The six runs and 13 hits the Rays posted on Tuesday were a positive, but the true test if they are out of their historically bad hitting slump will come tonight and in the coming days as they try to build on their success.

    "Hopefully,'' manager Kevin Cash said after Tuesday's 6-4 win, "there is a …

    Daniel Robertson is expected to make a third straight start tonight, likely at shortstop.
  2. What you might have missed in the second episode of the Bucs on 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    We're back for another episode of The Annotated Hard Knocks, trying to find behind-the-scenes insights and things you might have missed in Tuesday's second episode of "Hard Knocks," following the Bucs in …

    As the crowd recognized him and got loud, Jameis Winston jumped up and down in celebration. [GREG AUMAN | Times]
  3. Why Noah Spence could be the Bucs' X-factor

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — Noah Spence crouched in a four-point stance, bending low like a sprinter in starting blocks. At the snap, he took one step to his right, startling Jaguars left tackle Josh Wells with his explosiveness. Wells went for the move and Spence countered with an inside swim move, flying past Wells' right …

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Noah Spence (57) participates in training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  4. Lefty quarterback's task? Make sure nothing's lost in translation

    College

    GAINESVILLE — When Florida receiver Brandon Powell first met new quarterback Malik Zaire this summer, he was struck by the Notre Dame grad transfer's enthusiasm and outgoing personality.

    Florida quarterback Malik Zaire talks with the press during the NCAA college football team's media day in Gainesville. Zaire is a lefty quarterback, just like Tim Tebow. (Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun via AP, File)
  5. Nikita Kucherov in a wide-ranging Q&A

    Blogs

    While Lightning wing Nikita Kucherov has a tendency to be quiet around the media, he's a Russian with a variety of interests and a passionate hockey mind.

    Nikita Kucherov recently did a Q&A with Russia's Sovsport.ru, in which he addressed an array of topics.