Final Score: Tampa Bay 8, Houston 0
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - David Price turned in a vintage 10-strikeout
performance in his return from the disabled list and Desmond Jennings knocked
in four runs as the Tampa Bay Rays took a 8-0 victory to blank the Houston
Astros for the second straight night.
Price (2-4) had been struggling in his six starts prior to being sidelined on
May 15 with a left triceps strain, but looked like his 2012 AL Cy Young
Award-winning self on Tuesday, tossing seven shutout innings of three-hit
ball on a mere 70 pitches.
"That's probably the best I've felt on a baseball field maybe in my entire
life," Price said. "I felt like that's the most control I've had of a baseball
game in a very long time."
Jennings backed his outstanding effort with three hits -- including a two-run
homer -- and also scored twice in Tampa's fourth straight win and seventh in
nine games overall.
Houston starter Erik Bedard (3-4) lacked control of his command, walking
six batters while giving up four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. He had
allowed three runs or fewer in nine of his last 10 starts coming in.
The Astros lost the opener of this four-game set, 12-0, and have dropped
five straight games overall. They have totaled just five runs and have struck
out 51 times over the stretch.
The Rays only came away with a sac fly from Wil Myers after loading the bases
in the first inning, but got another threat going in the fourth to pad their
James Loney and Jose Molina each reached with one out and then moved to second
and third following a groundout from Kelly Johnson. Jennings then ripped a
base hit through the right side to plate both runners and create a 3-0 lead.
Jennings added some more insurance two innings later when he stroked a two-run
homer off reliever Josh Fields, giving the Rays a 5-0 cushion.
Price faced the minimum on 36 pitches through the first four innings before
striking out five of the last seven batters he faced.
"That's why he's a Cy Young winner," said Astros manager Bo Porter about
Price. "And he pitched like it tonight."
Tampa added three more runs in the ninth to tack onto its margin, with Yunel
Escobar stroking a two-run double before Loney's two-bagger that followed
capping the scoring.
Evan Longoria returned for the Rays following a three-game absence with a foot
injury and went 2-for-4 ... Loney extended his hitting streak to 13 games ...
Myers has hit safely in 13 of his first 15 career games in the majors... It
was the second time this season Houston has been shut out in back-to-back
games (April 2-3 versus the Texas Rangers) ... Carlos Corporan had two of the
Astros' four hits ... Tampa optioned infielder Ryan Roberts to Triple-A Durham
prior to the game and signed pitcher Ryne Stanek, the team's first-round pick
in last month's draft. The team also agreed to terms with pitcher Ramon
Ramirez on a minor league contract.
07/03 02:59:41 ET
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