Toronto at Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay
W: D. Price (16-6) L: S. Camp (4-3)
S: R. Soriano (40)
HR: TOR - J. Buck (15)   TB - S. Rodriguez (9)

Rays' Longoria breaks tie, Price earns 16th win wire reports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Good pitching, even better defense and just enough offense to win another one-run game.

The Tampa Bay Rays have been doing it all season and aren't about to apologize for their style.

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"That's what we are," second baseman Sean Rodriguez said Wednesday night after making a couple of nice defensive plays, smacking a solo homer and finishing a double shy of the cycle in a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

"Just another well-played baseball game with pitching and defense at the forefront," Rays manager Joe Maddon agreed. "It was fun to watch."

Evan Longoria snapped an eighth-inning tie with an RBI single, and All-Star David Price earned his club-record 16th victory before a crowd of just 14,859.

Price (16-6) allowed a solo homer to John Buck, a double and two infield singles over eight innings. The 25-year-old left-hander walked two and struck out seven before Rafael Soriano worked out of a jam in the ninth for his major league-leading 40th save in 42 opportunities.

"Old-school baseball with occasional pop," Buck said, describing Tampa Bay, which at 82-51 has ensured a third consecutive winning season.

The Rays are the eighth team in major league history to post winning records three straight years following 10 or more consecutive winning seasons.

"They've got baseball players over there. They know how to play the game. They play the game right," Buck said. "They're not even getting hits and somehow they're producing runs. That's kind of Tampa's game, you know? They do that."

The Rays remained a game behind the first-place Yankees in the AL East. New York beat Oakland 4-3 for its fifth straight victory.

"We battled all game, we've battled all year," Price said. "That's Rays baseball. ... We don't give up."

Rodriguez homered, tripled and singled off Blue Jays starter Shaun Marcum. He was denied a chance to go for the cycle when he was intentionally walked to load the bases after Longoria delivered his go-ahead hit off Scott Downs.

"Actually, it wasn't frustrating," Rodriguez said. "That was a first in my career."

Ben Zobrist began the winning rally by drawing a one-out walk from Shawn Camp (4-3). Carl Crawford singled and Longoria, who has 17 RBI in his past 18 games, hit a hard grounder between shortstop and third base to snap a 1-all tie.

The Blue Jays threatened in the ninth. Vernon Wells tripled with one out, but Soriano struck out Adam Lind and got Buck to fly out on the warning track in left field to end the game.

"Buck just missed that ball," Toronto manager Cito Gaston said. "A pretty good game, but it still goes on the other side, the loss column."

The victory gave Tampa Bay its 11th consecutive home series win over Toronto, when hasn't won a series at Tropicana Field since April 2007.

With rosters expanding Wednesday, Maddon tinkered with his lineup -- inserting rookie Desmond Jennings in right field, starting catcher Dioner Navarro and using former Colorado Rockies All-Star Brad Hawpe as the designated hitter in his AL debut.

The trio went 1 for 7 with four strikeouts against Marcum, who walked B.J. Upton intentionally to load the bases with two outs in the fifth to face Jennings. The 23-year-old, one of baseball's top prospects, hit a dribbler that Marcum scrambled to field with his bare hand in front of the plate before flipping the ball to the catcher for a force out.

Price limited the Blue Jays to Mike McCoy's third-inning infield single until Buck hit his 15th homer leading off the fifth. Jose Bautista doubled over Jennings' head in right field with two outs in the sixth, but the Rays' starter escaped further damage when Wells flied out.

"Unbelievable," Rodriguez said of Price's performance. "That's the Price we've come to know and love right there."

Marcum allowed one run and five hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out seven.

Hawpe, a 2009 All-Star who struggled this year before being released by Colorado, signed a minor league contract with Tampa Bay last week. He was 0 for 4 with four strikeouts, fanning three times with runners in scoring position.

  • Rays RHP Grant Balfour (ribs) was activated from the 15-day disabled list after pitching in a simulated game.
  • Blue Jays 1B Lyle Overbay (left eye contusion) was out of the lineup for the fifth consecutive game, but could return this weekend.
  • Toronto SS Yunel Escobar (stiff back) missed his fourth straight game and is not expected to play until Saturday.
  • Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson, 3-0 in four starts over two stints in the majors last month, was recalled from Class-A Charlotte and will pitch out of the bullpen.
  • The Blue Jays recalled C J.P. Arencibia from Triple-A Las Vegas and reinstated LHP David Purcey (right foot) from the 15-day disabled list.
  • Maddon will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree from his alma mater, Lafayette College, on Thursday.
  • Toronto LF Fred Lewis left in the sixth with a right elbow strain.
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.
Evan Longoria gets the pitch he wants from Shawn Camp in the eighth and lines an RBI single. (AP)
Evan Longoria gets the pitch he wants from Shawn Camp in the eighth and lines an RBI single. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

S. Rodriguez
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 1
Tampa Bay

D. Price
IP 8.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 2
K 7

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Toronto Blue Jays
Fred Lewis, LF3000010 .262
    Travis Snider, LF1000011 .238
John McDonald, 3B3000102 .261
Jose Bautista, RF3010100 .269
Vernon Wells, CF4010012 .267
Adam Lind, 1B4000021 .230
John Buck, C4111011 .279
Aaron Hill, 2B3000000 .211
J.P. Arencibia, DH3000020 .217
Mike McCoy, SS3020000 .217
2B - Jose Bautista (30, Price)
3B - Vernon Wells (3, Soriano)
HR - John Buck (15, Price)
RBI - John Buck (55)
SB - John McDonald (2, 2nd base off Price/Navarro)
CS - John McDonald (1, 3rd base by Price/Navarro)
Team LOB - 5
E - Scott Downs (2, Throwing)
Toronto Blue Jays
Shaun Marcum 6511271 3.53
Shawn Camp (L,4-3) 1.1111120 2.76
Scott Downs 0.2200110 2.75
IBB - Upton by Shaun Marcum, S. Rodriguez by Scott Downs
Pitches-Strikes - Shaun Marcum 101-65, Shawn Camp 33-22, Scott Downs 22-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shaun Marcum 6-3, Shawn Camp 2-0, Scott Downs 1-0
Batters Faced - Shaun Marcum 23, Shawn Camp 6, Scott Downs 5
Tampa Bay Rays
B.J. Upton, CF3000121 .232
Desmond Jennings, RF3000013 .000
   a- Ben Zobrist, PH-RF0100100 .251
Carl Crawford, LF3010110 .294
Evan Longoria, 3B4011000 .296
Carlos Pena, 1B4000012 .209
Sean Rodriguez, 2B3131100 .264
Brad Hawpe, DH4000045 .251
Dioner Navarro, C3010011 .213
Jason Bartlett, SS3020001 .251
a-walked for Jennings in the 8th
2B - Jason Bartlett (22, Marcum)
3B - Sean Rodriguez (2, Marcum)
HR - Sean Rodriguez (9, Marcum)
RBI - Evan Longoria (89), Sean Rodriguez (38)
SB - Sean Rodriguez (11, 2nd base off Camp/Buck)
CS - Carl Crawford (10, 2nd base by Marcum/Buck), Jason Bartlett (6, 2nd base by Marcum/Buck)
Team LOB - 8
Tampa Bay Rays
David Price (W,16-6) 8411271 2.92
Rafael Soriano (S,40) 1100010 1.69
Pitches-Strikes - David Price 107-75, Rafael Soriano 21-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - David Price 10-6, Rafael Soriano 1-1
Batters Faced - David Price 29, Rafael Soriano 4
Game Information
Attendance - 14859
Game Time - 2:54
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Mark Carlson, First Base - Jeff Kellogg, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Jeff Nelson