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Tampa Bay at Toronto

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Tampa Bay (10-11) «200003100670
Toronto (9-11)100100002490

Rays' Zobrist homers, Price remains unbeaten vs. Jays

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- Even after a sparkling performance, Tampa Bay pitcher David Price was feeling frustrated about some unfinished business.

Ben Zobrist hit a three-run home run, Price remained perfect against Toronto and the Rays held on to beat the Blue Jays 6-4 on Saturday.

"We were up four going into the ninth and they were a base hit away from tying the game up," Price said. "There's no easy games out here."

Johnny Damon also went deep for the Rays, who snapped a two-game skid.

Jose Bautista hit a pair of solo home runs, the 12th multihomer game of his career, but the rest of the Blue Jays struggled against Price, now 7-0 with a 2.30 ERA in eight career games against Toronto. The Rays have won all eight games.

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Price, who has won three straight starts, allowed three runs and eight hits in eight-plus innings. He walked two and struck out five.

"Outstanding," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Great command of his stuff all night long. He threw the ball where he wanted to. He pitched really, really well."

Price, however, didn't feel like celebrating after being unable to finish in the ninth, with Kyle Farnsworth called on to record his fifth save.

"I was disappointed in myself," Price said. "[Maddon] lets me go out there and try to finish and I've got to be able to do it. It's unfortunate. You've got to go out there in the ninth inning and shut the door."

The left-hander started the ninth but was replaced after Adam Lind's RBI double and Jose Molina's single. Farnsworth came on and gave up an RBI single to Juan Rivera, then went down clutching his left knee trying to field Travis Snider's sacrifice, which put runners at second and third.

After a visit from the trainer and anxious Maddon, Farnsworth stayed in the game and got John McDonald to bounced back to the mound for the second out. Mike McCoy ended it by grounding to third.

"Of course [Price] wanted to finish that but it was just not going to work that way if I'd left him out there, based on their momentum at that point," Maddon said.

Bautista hit a two-out drive to left-center in the first and followed that with a one-out blast to left in the fourth that just cleared the wall. The homers were his sixth and seventh.

"He's very reminiscent of Barry Bonds in 2002," Maddon said. "He looks like that where every time he swings the bat, it looks like it's going to go over the wall. Just tremendous plate discipline, very aggressive swing. It's an understatement to say that he's locked in right now. He's hitting as though there's a league above this one.

Bautista, who walked in the seventh and singled in the ninth, has reached base in 10 consecutive plate appearances.

Price (3-2) didn't allow a hit to another Blue Jays batter until Molina's one-out single in the seventh. He got some help from his defense to escape that inning, with left fielder Sam Fuld making a diving catch on Snider's two-out liner, stranding runners at first and second.

Unbeknownst to him, Fuld narrowly avoided a collision with B.J. Upton on the play.

"I was locked in on the ball," Fuld said. "It wasn't until after I caught it and looked back and B.J. was sprawled out that I realized 'Oh, we both dove for it.' I had no idea. His eyes were the size of baseballs, like he just avoided a car wreck. After the fact I realized that yeah, I avoided a car wreck."

Fuld, who came in tied with New York's Alex Rodriguez for the AL batting lead, went 1 for 3 with two walks, dropping his average to .365.

Price got some more help in the eighth, getting out of a first-and-third, one-out jam by getting Corey Patterson to ground into a double play.

Making his first start after opening the season on the disabled list with a sore elbow, Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow (0-1) looked shaky in the first, walking leadoff hitter Fuld and giving up a two-run homer to Damon, his fourth.

Morrow soon settled, striking out the next three batters and allowing just two hits, both singles, over the next four innings.

On Aug. 8, Morrow threw a one-hitter and struck out a career-high 17 in a 1-0 home win over the Rays, his first complete game. Evan Longoria broke up the no-hit bid with a two-out infield single in the ninth.

Carlos Villanueva replaced Morrow after Fuld walked and Damon struck out in the sixth. Matt Joyce walked and Zobrist followed with a booming three-run drive into the second deck in right, his fourth.

Morrow allowed three runs and three hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out 10.

The Rays tacked on an insurance run against Casey Janssen in the seventh, with Sean Rodriguez scoring on Damon's fielder's choice.

Notes

  • The Blue Jays placed INF Jayson Nix (left shin contusion) on the 15-day DL and recalled McCoy from Triple-A Las Vegas. Nix left Friday's game in the second inning after Rodriguez slid into him while trying to break up a double play.
  • Toronto 3B Edwin Encarnacion was scratched from the lineup with a sore left wrist and replaced by McDonald.
  • Blue Jays 2B Aaron Hill (right hamstring) did some light jogging but sat out his third straight game. Toronto manager John Farrell said a decision will be made Sunday whether to put Hill on the DL.
  • Rays INF Felipe Lopez, who was yanked from Friday's game after failing to run out a groundball, did not start. Maddon said he discussed the incident with Lopez before Saturday's game.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Despite giving up eight hits in eight-plus innings, David Price improves to 7-0 with a 2.30 ERA in eight starts vs. Toronto. (AP)
Despite giving up eight hits in eight-plus innings, David Price improves to 7-0 with a 2.30 ERA in eight starts vs. Toronto. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

B. Zobrist
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
Toronto

J. Bautista
AB 3
R 3
H 3
HR 2
RBI 2
 
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Sam Fuld, LF3210201 .365
Johnny Damon, DH4113011 .246
Matt Joyce, RF3100122 .295
Ben Zobrist, 2B4113010 .187
B.J. Upton, CF4020020 .229
Casey Kotchman, 1B4010002 .308
John Jaso, C4000013 .167
Sean Rodriguez, 3B3100020 .175
Reid Brignac, SS4010010 .261
Totals33676310  
Batting
HR - Johnny Damon (4, Morrow), Ben Zobrist (4, Villanueva)
RBI - Johnny Damon 3 (17), Ben Zobrist 3 (10)
SB - Sam Fuld (10, 2nd base off Morrow/Molina), B.J. Upton (5, 2nd base off Janssen/Molina)
CS - Casey Kotchman (1, 2nd base by Morrow/Molina)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Brignac-Zobrist-Kotchman, S. Rodriguez-Zobrist-Kotchman
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
David Price (W,3-2) 8844252 3.19
Kyle Farnsworth (S,5) 1100000 1.23
Pitches-Strikes - David Price 100-65, Kyle Farnsworth 5-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - David Price 10-7, Kyle Farnsworth 3-0
Batters Faced - David Price 32, Kyle Farnsworth 4
Toronto Blue Jays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Yunel Escobar, SS4010001 .294
Corey Patterson, CF4000011 .196
Jose Bautista, RF3332100 .371
Adam Lind, 1B4111011 .244
Jose Molina, C4020000 .357
Juan Rivera, DH4011022 .128
    Chris Woodward, PR-DH0000000 .000
Travis Snider, LF3000002 .159
John McDonald, 3B4000002 .265
Mike McCoy, 2B3010112 .357
Totals3349425  
Batting
2B - Adam Lind (5, Price)
HR - Jose Bautista 2 (7, Price, Price)
SH - Travis Snider (1)
RBI - Jose Bautista 2 (10), Adam Lind (12), Juan Rivera (1)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Bautista (3)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
PB - Jose Molina (1)
Toronto Blue Jays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brandon Morrow (L,0-1) 5.13332101 5.06
Carlos Villanueva 0.2222101 2.38
Casey Janssen 2211000 1.08
Octavio Dotel 1000000 4.50
HBP - S. Rodriguez (by Casey Janssen)
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Morrow 93-58, Carlos Villanueva 17-9, Casey Janssen 35-19, Octavio Dotel 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Morrow 3-2, Casey Janssen 6-0, Octavio Dotel 1-2
Batters Faced - Brandon Morrow 20, Carlos Villanueva 5, Casey Janssen 9, Octavio Dotel 3
Game Information
Attendance - 21826
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Chris Guccione