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(Monday, March 31st)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 9, Toronto 2
St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - In a matchup of the 2012 Cy Young winners, David Price outdueled R.A. Dickey and the Tampa Bay Rays took down the Toronto Blue Jays, 9-2, in the season opener for both teams.
Price (1-0) threw seven scoreless innings before giving up a two-run homer to Erik Kratz in the top of the eighth. The 2012 AL Cy Young winner finished with six strikeouts, allowing six hits and one walk in 7 1/3 innings.
"It feels good to go out and get the ball rolling in the right direction," Price said.
Reigning AL Rookie of the Year Wil Myers went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI in his first Opening Day start for Tampa Bay. Matt Joyce drove in three runs while going 2-for-2 with a double and Evan Longoria and James Loney picked up an RBI apiece.
The 2012 NL Cy Young winner Dickey (0-1) lasted five innings, getting knocked around for six runs and five hits while walking six and fanning four. Kratz was the lone bright spot for Toronto, smacking a two-run homer on the first and only pitch he saw.
"They hit Dickey around pretty good," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
The Rays wasted no time getting on the board, as Longoria hit a two-out single up the middle to score Myers following the latter's double to left in the bottom of the first.
Desmond Jennings kept the Rays rolling in the second, leading off with a double to left-center. Joyce and David DeJesus followed with walks around a Yunel Escobar pop out to load the bases. Myers then drove in Jennings and Joyce on a two-out single up the middle, giving Price a 3-0 cushion.
Price sat down the first six Blue Jay batters in order before walking Colby Rasmus and allowing Maicer Izturis to pick up Toronto's first hit in the bottom of the third. The Jays, however, came up empty after Josh Thole grounded into a double play and Ryan Goins bounced out to end the inning.
Goins entered the game after Jose Reyes left with a tight left hamstring in the first inning. Reyes flew out to center and didn't appear to be in pain despite not running full speed to first.
Longoria kicked off the bottom of the third with a walk and reached second after Loney hit into a fielder's choice. Dickey then threw a wild pitch, sending Longoria to third and enabling Joyce to plate him on a sacrifice fly to center.
In the fifth, Joyce doubled to right to drive in Ben Zobrist and Jennings to increase the Rays' lead to 6-0. Zobrist led off with a walk and after a walk by Loney, Jennings reached base on a fielder's choice to set up Joyce's hit.
Price, meanwhile, looked to be in midseason form, as it took him only six pitches to get through the sixth inning and seven pitches in the seventh to set the Jays down in order.
Kratz got Toronto on the board in the top of the eighth, smacking a two-run home run to center in his first at-bat in a Blue Jay uniform. He came to Toronto along with pitcher Rob Rasmussen from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for pitcher Brad Lincoln this offseason.
Tampa Bay continued to pour it on in the bottom of the eighth. DeJesus was hit by a Jeremy Jeffress pitch before Myers hit a chopper between the mound and third, which Jeffress threw away. Brandon Guyer, pinch-running for DeJesus, scored and Myers headed for third after the throwing error. Jose Bautista then short-hopped Brett Lawrie at third while trying to throw out Myers from right field. The ball got away from Lawrie and allowed Myers to cross the plate.
Two batters later, Zobrist came home on a sacrifice fly by Loney to round out the scoring for the Rays.
Brandon Gomes picked up two strikeouts and allowed one hit to shut the door on Toronto in the ninth.
Price is now 1-1 with a no-decision in three Opening Day starts ... The Blue Jays have dropped 15 of 19 at Tropicana Field dating back to 2012 ... Tampa Bay started the same infield on Opening Day for the first time in consecutive seasons since 1998-99 ... This was the fourth time in Rays history involving a matchup of two former Cy Young winners.
04/01 00:07:02 ET
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