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)

Tampa Bay Rays lose to Colorado Rockies 5-3

DENVER — David Price's problem in his first four starts was a surprising inability to throw strikes. The pitches that were in the zone were dazzling but too many missed, and he would pitch himself out of games despite not allowing much damage.

Wednesday night, the rookie left-hander showed marked improvement in throwing the ball over the plate, working a career-high seven innings without a walk. But this time he left a few too many where the Rockies could reach them in a 5-3 loss that snapped the Rays' six-game winning streak.

"Just the complete opposite side of the spectrum," Price said. "I walk a ton of guys and I give up one and go 41/3 or something. Then I don't walk anyone and I give up five. (But) I didn't beat myself tonight, and that's fine."

Price was baffled by his early struggles, walking 18 in his first 19 innings, including six in one game and five twice, and reaching his 100-pitch limit without completing six innings.

Wednesday, he threw the ball over the plate with a remarkable consistency, 70 times in 99 pitches, never going to a three-ball count.

He struck out five but allowed a career-high 10 hits, including four straight to start the second inning, the biggest a three-run home run by No. 7 hitter Troy Tulowitzki on a hanging slider, as the Rockies took a 4-0 lead. Price gave up a homer on another hanger to No. 8 hitter Chris Ianetta to open the fourth.

"It cost us the game," Price said. "That's tough."

As disappointing as the loss was, Price and the Rays viewed it as a welcome improvement — and potentially much needed with Scott Kazmir apparently on his way back.

"Much better," manager Joe Maddon. "I was really impressed after the home run by Tulo­witzki, he pitched really well for the rest of that game. I like it. More sliders. Sliders for strikes. He threw a changeup toward the end that was a good pitch. Fastball command much better.

"It's never been a question of composure for me, he's always had that. He just looked comfortable throwing the ball over the plate today."

A night after breaking the Rockies' 11-game winning streak, the Rays (35-32) saw their six-game streak, which became the longest in the majors, come to an end.

Price's handful of errant pitches, and his remorse at not throwing more changeups early to mix up his repertoire, was only part of the problem.

The Rays couldn't do much against Rockies starter Aaron Cook, even with Pat Burrell making his rightfield debut on the strength of his 11-for-16 career numbers.

Cook held the hot-hitting Rays to three runs over seven innings — with Burrell knocking in one —and relievers Manny Corpas and Huston Street took it from there.

"I thought we could have probably been a little more aggressive with (Cook)," Burrell said, "but we made a game of it."

The Rays had a few chances, including a two-on, no-out start to the third that included Price's single in his first big-league at-bat. Another key moment was in the fifth, after Carl Crawford and Evan Lon­goria hit back-to-back homers with two outs, Carlos Peña walked and Ben Zobrist reached on an error, but Burrell flied to deep right.

"What are you gonna do," Burrell said.

On this night, they had to settle for Price's progress.

Rockies 5

Rays 3


Tampa Bay Rays lose to Colorado Rockies 5-3 06/17/09 [Last modified: Thursday, June 18, 2009 12:34am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Chris Archer knocked out early as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Another short outing by Chris Archer led to another long afternoon for the Rays in a 9-4 loss to the Orioles on Sunday.

    Chris Archer has not gotten past four innings in four of his past five starts. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
  2. Bucs-Vikings report card: Where's this explosive offense we heard about all offseason?


    O NO

    True, the Bucs defense looked pretty leaky in the 34-17 loss to the Vikings. But you know what needs to happen when the defense is getting torched? The offense needs to step up. In games such as these, with defensive players seemingly getting hurt every play, the offense needs to outscore the other …

    Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) intercepts a Jameis Winston pass intended for wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Bucs-Vikings: Instant analysis from Tampa Bay's 34-17 loss


    MINNEAPOLIS — Here's Rick Stroud and Tom Jones' instant analysis from the Bucs' 34-17 loss at Minnesota Sunday. More to come from Rick & Tom — and Greg Auman —- from Minneapolis later today.

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright (17) dives over the pylon for a touchdown as  Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith (29) defends. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Worst-Case scenario: Case Keenum, Vikings hand Bucs 34-17 loss


    MINNEAPOLIS — With key defensive starters out with injury, the Bucs were dominated by the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, with fill-in quarterback Case Keenum beating Tampa Bay for the third year in a row, …

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Bucs-Vikings: A by-the-numbers look at the Bucs' 34-17 loss


    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (98) hits Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum (7) as he passes during the first half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times