Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price tops 200 innings, 200 strikeouts for first time

ST. PETERSBURG — LHP David Price had to settle for a pair of milestones.

A lack of overall sharpness limited him to six innings Wednesday, and the ninth-inning tying homer by Ian Kinsler left him with a no-decision, but Price, 26, reached both the 200-inning and 200-strikeout marks for the first time in his career.

"You're always looking for growth, and that's growth right there," manager Joe Maddon said. "In the offseason when he is sitting down back in Tennessee and he can think about what had happened this year, that is a milestone.

"And then you look at next year to build off of something like that. You just can't go from 0-60, you've got to go 40, 50 and then 60. So with him, this is something that next year coming into the season, then I'm more comfortable regarding permitting him to try to do other things because he's been kind of stretched."

Price joined teammate James Shields in the 200-200 club and seemed to take as much satisfaction in that as anything.

"It's been a lot of fun watching him pitch the entire year," Price said. "I'm just glad I had some success."

As for the dual milestones? "That's just consistency," he said. "I haven't thrown the ball extremely well this year, but I've had some spots when I have and I think it shows."

Price, by fanning Mike Napoli to end the fifth, became the third Rays pitcher to get to 200, joining Scott Kazmir (2007) and Shields. Price and Shields lead the majors in tandem strikeouts at 405.

1,000 CLUB: The Rays logged their 1,000th win in their 2,245th game. "That's a nice milestone," Maddon said. "Many more thousands to come."

FARNSVILLE: RHP Kyle Farnsworth blew his fifth save in 28 chances and first since July 23. The homer to Kinsler was just the third he allowed this season and his first since June 28, ending a span of 87 batters not going deep.

CATCHING ON: C Jose Lobaton, who left Tuesday's game after "tweaking" his left knee, felt better Wednesday and Maddon expects him to be able to catch by Friday.

MINOR MATTERS: Triple-A Durham lost 3-0 to Columbus (Indians) to open the best-of-five first-round International League playoffs. LHP Matt Moore allowed three runs in 62/3 innings. RHP Chris Archer is scheduled for Game 2 tonight, against former Rays RHP Mitch Talbot. The Bulls added RHPs Matt Bush and Jim Paduch to their roster from Montgomery and dropped RHPs Brian Baker and Lance Cormier. … Class A Bowling Green's Midwest League playoff opener at Fort Wayne (Padres) was postponed and rescheduled for tonight. … Moore was runner-up for Baseball America's minor-league player of the year award, which went to Angels OF prospect Mike Trout.

LINING UP: Maddon had planned to sit 1B Casey Kotchman so he'd have the benefit of two days off, but Kotchman said he felt okay and wanted to play, and Maddon gave in easily given the defensive benefits of having him on the field. "It was easier for him to talk me into it," Maddon said. Maddon started Justin Ruggiano in right and rookie Brandon Guyer at DH because he felt Guyer was not yet comfortable with the tricky Trop roof.

MISCELLANY: The 11 walkoff wins tie the team record; also 2000, 2008. … CF B.J. Upton played his 800th game, moving past Aubrey Huff for second on the franchise all-time list behind Carl Crawford (1,235). With two more walks, Upton will match Carlos Peña's team record of 373. … The doubleheader in New York was set for Sept. 21, with first pitches at 1:05 and 7:05. … Greg Riddoch, the Rays' third-base coach in 1998-99, visited the last two games.

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price tops 200 innings, 200 strikeouts for first time 09/08/11 [Last modified: Thursday, September 8, 2011 1:35pm]

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