|Tampa Bay (73-59) «||1||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||6||12||14||0|
"Hitting is hard enough already," Rays catcher John Jaso said. "What David brought today made it pretty much impossible."
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It wasn't just Price's stuff, but a stiff wind blowing out to center field that made him so effective, giving his fastball extraordinary movement.
"I've never had that much movement before so it was pretty cool," Price said. "The wind kept blowing and it was making my eyes watery all game. I knew it was blowing pretty good and I just kept throwing it."
Jaso and Price felt strong gusts pushing them as they walked in from the bullpen beforehand, but didn't know how helpful the wind would be until the game began, and Price's two-seamer started drifting.
"It looks like a strike right out of his hand and then it's just fading off the plate," Jaso explained. "It was moving about three feet. Once they start to swing on his fastball, they can't hold it back."
"He had everything working today, the changeup, the slider, the backdoor cutter," manager Joe Maddon said. "Everything was working off the fastball. That's why their hitters could not get comfortable at all."
Price allowed only three singles and walked two. His first seven outs all came by a strikeout, with two hits mixed in during that span.
"He's got great movement," Blue Jays bench coach Don Wakamatsu said. "You can get down in the count right away."
After leaving the game, Price wrote a birthday greeting for his mother on his hand and flashed it for TV cameras. He'd sent her flowers and a card on Friday, but figured she'd like the win even more.
"It's fun to catch when you've got something like that going," Jaso said.
Jennings homered on the first pitch of the game and got a career-high four hits. He drove in three runs, scored three, drew a walk and stole a base from the leadoff spot.
The Blue Jays lost their fourth straight. They finished with five hits.
Price quickly matched his career high, striking out 12 through five innings. The left-hander didn't fan anyone in the sixth, but finished his outing with two more strikeouts in the seventh, matching and then passing Kazmir (2007) and Shields (2011) for the Rays' record.
Price improved to 9-1 with a 1.99 ERA in 11 career starts against Toronto.
Price didn't give his defense much to do in the first three innings. He did allow a pair of baserunners over that span: Mike McCoy led off the first with a walk and Jose Molina hit a two-out single in the second. Neither runner advanced.
McCoy was the first batter to make an out on a batted ball when he grounded to second in the third. McCoy, who walked again in the sixth, was the only Blue Jays batter not to strike out against Price.
Toronto's 18 strikeouts were a season-high, two more they had in a 3-1 road loss to the Angels on April 10. The franchise record is 19, set twice previously, both times in extra-inning games.
Jennings put Tampa Bay ahead right away, connecting against Brandon Morrow (9-9) for the first leadoff home run of his career.
"It's an early run and gets the team up and the pitcher, especially David, he doesn't need many runs," Jennings said.
After John Jaso's RBI double in the second scored B.J. Upton, Rodriguez hit a two-run shot into the second deck in left. Jennings made it back-to-back homers when he followed with another drive to left, his first multihomer game.
Morrow (9-9) allowed five runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander has given up five homers in his past 10 innings. He lost for the fourth time in five starts.
|Tampa Bay's David Price racks up a career-high 14 strikeouts in seven innings, allowing three hits and no runs. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Desmond Jennings, LF||5||3||4||3||1||0||0||.354|
|Johnny Damon, DH||6||0||1||0||0||2||2||.263|
|Evan Longoria, 3B||4||0||1||1||1||0||4||.236|
|Ben Zobrist, 2B||5||2||1||1||1||3||3||.280|
|Casey Kotchman, 1B||2||1||0||0||2||1||1||.323|
|B.J. Upton, CF||4||1||1||0||2||0||6||.224|
|Matt Joyce, RF||6||1||3||2||0||1||4||.284|
|John Jaso, C||6||2||2||2||0||0||4||.224|
|Sean Rodriguez, SS||3||2||1||2||2||0||2||.220|
|2B - Matt Joyce 2 (27, Ledezma, Ledezma), John Jaso (13, Morrow)|
|3B - John Jaso (1, Ledezma)|
|HR - Desmond Jennings 2 (8, Morrow, Morrow), Sean Rodriguez (6, Morrow)|
|SF - Evan Longoria (4)|
|RBI - Desmond Jennings 3 (19), Evan Longoria (77), Ben Zobrist (74), Matt Joyce 2 (58), John Jaso 2 (23), Sean Rodriguez 2 (28)|
|2-OUT RBI - Desmond Jennings (6), Ben Zobrist (28), Matt Joyce 2 (25), John Jaso (10), Sean Rodriguez 2 (7)|
|SB - Desmond Jennings (14, 2nd base off Morrow/Arencibia), B.J. Upton (27, 3rd base off Morrow/Arencibia)|
|Team LOB - 14|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|David Price (W,12-11)||7||3||0||0||2||14||0||3.40|
|Pitches-Strikes - David Price 111-75, Brandon Gomes 22-12, Cesar Ramos 8-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - David Price 3-4, Brandon Gomes 1-1|
|Batters Faced - David Price 26, Brandon Gomes 6, Cesar Ramos 3|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Mike McCoy, CF||1||0||0||0||3||0||0||.223|
|Yunel Escobar, SS||4||0||1||0||0||2||2||.282|
|Jose Bautista, RF||4||0||0||0||0||3||4||.312|
|Edwin Encarnacion, 1B||3||0||1||0||0||1||2||.276|
|a- Mark Teahen, PH-1B||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.184|
|Kelly Johnson, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||4||1||.208|
|Brett Lawrie, 3B||4||0||2||0||0||1||1||.338|
|Jose Molina, DH||4||0||1||0||0||3||2||.295|
|Eric Thames, LF||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.266|
|J.P. Arencibia, C||3||0||0||0||0||2||0||.212|
|a-flied out for Encarnacion in the 8th|
|SB - Mike McCoy (6, 2nd base off Price/Jaso)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|E - Jose Bautista (8, Misplayed grounder), Kelly Johnson (7, Misplayed grounder)|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Brandon Morrow (L,9-9)||5.1||6||5||5||3||5||3||4.79|
|HBP - Kotchman (by Brandon Morrow), Kotchman (by Rommie Lewis)|
|WP - Brandon Morrow (8)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Morrow 114-74, Rommie Lewis 43-27, Joel Carreno 24-11, Wil Ledezma 45-21|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Morrow 6-6, Rommie Lewis 1-3, Joel Carreno 1-1, Wil Ledezma 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Brandon Morrow 27, Rommie Lewis 9, Joel Carreno 6, Wil Ledezma 11|
|Attendance - 21618|
|Game Time - 3:16|
|Temperature - 70|
|Umpires - Home - Jeff Nelson, First Base - Marty Foster, Second Base - Bill Welke, Third Base - Tim Tschida|