Florida at Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay
W: D. Price (2-2) L: A. Miller (2-4)
S: J. Howell (5)
HR: FLA - None   TB - B. Upton (6)

Price rebounds to earn win as Rays sweep Marlins

CBSSports.com wire reports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- David Price is showing flashes of what made him so dominant in Tampa Bay's World Series run last season.

Price allowed one run over 6 1/3 innings and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Florida Marlins 5-2 to complete a three-game sweep on Sunday.

"I'm close," Price said. "I'm getting there. I've just got to keep working. It's going to fall in place at some point, and when it does I want to ride the wave as long as possible."

Price (2-2) gave up two hits, five walks and had four strikeouts. The first overall pick in the 2007 amateur draft was coming off a pair of losses in which the left-hander was touched for 15 runs and 17 hits in 11 1/3 innings.

"Starting pitching drives the engine. He did a great job today," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

B.J. Upton homered for the Rays, who have won five in a row. Tropicana Field is the only park in the majors where at least one homer has been hit in every game (39) played this season.

The Marlins got a run-scoring single from Hanley Ramirez. Andrew Miller (2-4) gave up five runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings.

"We had him [Price] on the ropes and it seemed the deeper he got into the game, the more settled he got and his stuff got better," Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He's a good one."

Jason Bartlett hit an RBI double and Gabe Kapler had a run-scoring grounder to put Tampa Bay up 2-0 in the second. Bartlett has driven in 22 runs over his last 21 games, while Kapler has 12 RBI during interleague play.

Florida got within 2-1 in the third when Ramirez completed a 12-pitch, two-out at-bat with an RBI single. He has 24 RBI in 18 interleague games.

Upton put the Rays back up by two, at 3-1, on a first-pitch leadoff homer in the bottom of the third. It was his first home run off a lefty since last Sept. 26 against Detroit's Bobby Seay.

"You don't get any breaks in that lineup," Miller said.

Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist had RBI singles in the seventh to make it 5-1.

"We're just playing better baseball," Maddon said.

J.P. Howell, the third Tampa Bay reliever, struggled with his control, but got the final two outs for his fifth save.

Howell replaced Chad Bradford with two on and one out in the ninth. After hitting Cody Ross and walking pinch hitter Wes Helms to force in a run that cut the Rays' advantage to 5-2, the left-hander then struck out Ronny Paulino and Ross Gload.

"That final game is really hard," Howell said. "It's tough to sweep any team. It feels really good."

Howell also had two wins in the three-game series. He has not allowed a run over his last 16 2/3 innings.


  • Tampa Bay is scheduled to face Toronto ace Roy Halladay (10-1) Monday night. The right-hander (groin) is set to be reinstated from the 15-day disabled list to make the start. "I'm looking forward to that like a root canal," a smiling Maddon said.
  • Marlins RHP Leo Nunez, slowed by a strained right ankle, reported no problems one day after throwing an inning on Saturday night.
  • SS Kenny Diekroeger, taken 78th overall by Tampa Bay in this year's amateur draft, took grounders before the game. The 18-year old hasn't decided if he will sign with the Rays or attend Stanford University.
  • Kapler went 11 for 22 in interleague play.
  • Tampa Bay went 13-5 in interleague, while the Marlins won 10 of 18.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Struggling recently, David Price allows just one run in 6 1/3 innings.  (US Presswire)
Struggling recently, David Price allows just one run in 6 1/3 innings. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

B. Upton
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
Tampa Bay

D. Price
IP 6.1
H 2
ER 1
BB 5
K 4

Related Video

February 24, 2017
2017 AL East Preview: Tampa Bay Rays (2:33)
Florida Marlins
Chris Coghlan, LF3000110 .259
Emilio Bonifacio, 3B3110100 .249
Hanley Ramirez, SS4011002 .333
Jorge Cantu, 1B4110012 .283
Dan Uggla, 2B3010102 .225
Cody Ross, CF2000110 .276
Jeremy Hermida, DH2000101 .256
   a- Wes Helms, PH-DH0001100 .235
    Alejandro De Aza, PR-DH0000000 .222
Ronny Paulino, C4000016 .265
Brett Carroll, RF2000010 .288
   b- Ross Gload, PH-RF2000013 .288
a-walked for Hermida in the 9th
b-grounded out for Carroll in the 8th
RBI - Hanley Ramirez (51), Wes Helms (14)
2-OUT RBI - Hanley Ramirez (21)
SB - Emilio Bonifacio (16, 2nd base off Price/Navarro)
CS - Hanley Ramirez (6, 2nd base by Price/Navarro)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Bonifacio-Uggla-Cantu
E - Dan Uggla (7, Throwing)
Florida Marlins
Andrew Miller (L,2-4) 6.1855141 4.45
Tim Wood 1.2200010 0.00
HBP - Zobrist (by Andrew Miller)
WP - Andrew Miller (6)
Pitches-Strikes - Andrew Miller 101-59, Tim Wood 29-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andrew Miller 4-11, Tim Wood 1-3
Batters Faced - Andrew Miller 29, Tim Wood 7
Tampa Bay Rays
B.J. Upton, CF4221001 .249
Carl Crawford, LF4120000 .316
Evan Longoria, 3B4011011 .306
Carlos Pena, 1B4120001 .242
Ben Zobrist, 2B3011022 .287
Pat Burrell, DH3100104 .233
Jason Bartlett, SS4011010 .364
Gabe Kapler, RF3011000 .250
   a- Gabe Gross, PH-RF1000010 .277
Dioner Navarro, C4000002 .214
a-struck out for Kapler in the 8th
2B - Jason Bartlett (15, Miller), Gabe Kapler (12, Miller)
HR - B.J. Upton (6, Miller)
RBI - B.J. Upton (29), Evan Longoria (63), Ben Zobrist (45), Jason Bartlett (36), Gabe Kapler (19)
2-OUT RBI - Ben Zobrist (20)
SB - B.J. Upton (28, 2nd base off Miller/Paulino), Carlos Pena (1, 2nd base off Miller/Paulino)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Bartlett-Zobrist-Pena
Tampa Bay Rays
David Price (W,2-2) 6.1211540 3.93
Joe Nelson (H,6) 1.2000000 4.45
Chad Bradford 0.1211000 6.75
J.P. Howell (S,5) 0.2000120 1.67
HBP - Ross (by J.P. Howell)
Pitches-Strikes - David Price 91-53, Joe Nelson 8-6, Chad Bradford 23-14, J.P. Howell 17-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - David Price 6-8, Joe Nelson 3-1, Chad Bradford 1-0
Batters Faced - David Price 25, Joe Nelson 4, Chad Bradford 3, J.P. Howell 4
Game Information
Attendance - 29459
Game Time - 2:40
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Mike DiMuro, First Base - Ron Kulpa, Second Base - Dale Scott, Third Base - Jerry Meals