Tampa Bay at Cincinnati

Price pitches into 9th, Rays get past Cincinnati

CBSSports.com wire reports

CINCINNATI -- David Price wished he had one pitch back.

The left-hander took a shutout into the ninth inning Friday night before giving up a homer to Joey Votto, and the Tampa Bay Rays wound up holding on for a 2-1 victory over the Reds, their first in Cincinnati.

The teams have a brief and lopsided interleague history. The Reds had won eight of their nine previous games, with Tampa Bay's only win coming at Tropicana Field on June 28, 2011, on Evan Longoria's game-ending homer.

This one had all the drama at the end.

"Never had a doubt," Price said.

Longoria singled home a run in the first inning and Matt Joyce connected in the third against Johnny Cueto (0-2) as the Rays finally got a victory in their second visit to Great American Ball Park. They also visited in 2005 and got swept while giving up 34 runs in three games.

Price (2-0) allowed four hits and one walk, losing his shutout when Votto hit an opposite-field drive with one out. He left a pitch over the outside part of the plate, costing him a chance at his third career shutout.

"That stinks," said Price, who threw 114 pitches. "I definitely wanted to finish that game."

Grant Balfour relieved, got Ryan Ludwick on a called third strike, then walked the next two batters and threw a wild pitch that let them advance to second and third. He pitched around Devin Mesoraco, who has been hitting well since his return from the disabled list, and got pinch-hitter Brayan Pena to take a called third strike.

"He (Mesoraco) is hot right now and I'm going to be smart," said Balfour, who is 3 for 3 in save chances. "I played the odds and rolled the dice there."

Despite the teams' limited history, they have one close connection. First-year Reds manager Bryan Price pitched for Joe Maddon when the Rays manager ran the Double-A Midland Angels in the 1980s. Price joked before the game that they got to know each other during Maddon's trips to the mound in the third and fourth innings to replace him.

No early exits in this one. Both starters hung in there against struggling offenses. Tampa Bay has scored a total of eight runs in its last five games. The Reds have scored only 28 runs overall, the second-fewest in the National League.

Both were wasteful again.

Cueto needed 26 pitches to get through the first inning, when he walked two with only one out. Longoria singled home a run, but that's all the Rays could manage. Joyce led off the third inning with a homer that landed way up in the right-field seats for his team-high second of the season.

"In the first inning, I didn't feel like I was ready," Cueto said. "I felt slow. I was a little down on myself. After that, everything clicked in and I was all right."

Tampa Bay had chances for a lot more. The Rays stranded four runners in scoring position in the first five innings against Cueto, who gave up five hits and walked four over seven innings.

The Reds wasted leadoff doubles by Mesoraco in the third and Brandon Phillips in the fourth. Phillips had two of Cincinnati's hits off Price.


RH Alex Cobb makes his first career appearance against the Reds on Saturday. RH Alfredo Simon makes his second start for Cincinnati, filling in while Mat Latos recovers from knee surgery. ... The Rays recalled OF Kevin Kiermaier from Triple-A Durham. ... Tampa Bay LH Cesar Ramos will start Sunday in place of LH Matt Moore, on the DL with a sore pitching elbow. ... Maddon invited 1978 NL MVP Dave Parker to meet the Rays before the game. Parker grew up in Cincinnati and coached with Maddon on the Angels' staff. ... Bryan Price lost a replay challenge in the ninth, when he thought Phillips' foot had been hit by a pitch. He lost the challenge: The ball bounced and deflected off the catcher's mitt before hitting the foot.

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David Price allows four hits and one walk, only losing his shutout when Joey Votto homers for the Reds. (USATSI)
David Price allows four hits and one walk, only losing his shutout when Joey Votto homers for the Reds. (USATSI)

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Tampa Bay Rays
Ben Zobrist, 2B3000200 .256
Desmond Jennings, CF3100223 .250
Matt Joyce, LF3121110 .423
Evan Longoria, 3B4011012 .359
James Loney, 1B3000102 .176
Wil Myers, RF4010013 .231
Yunel Escobar, SS4010001 .158
Jose Molina, C4010011 .067
David Price, P4000022 .000
   Grant Balfour, P0000000 .000
2B - Yunel Escobar (1, Cueto)
HR - Matt Joyce (2, Cueto)
RBI - Matt Joyce (7), Evan Longoria (5)
SB - Ben Zobrist (1, 2nd base off Broxton/Mesoraco)
Team LOB - 9
Tampa Bay Rays
David Price (W,2-0) 8.14111101 2.91
Grant Balfour (S,3) 0.2000320 0.00
WP - Grant Balfour (3)
Pitches-Strikes - David Price 114-85, Grant Balfour 25-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - David Price 7-8
Batters Faced - David Price 30, Grant Balfour 5
Cincinnati Reds
Billy Hamilton, CF4000011 .167
Brandon Phillips, 2B4020010 .300
Joey Votto, 1B3111111 .257
Ryan Ludwick, LF4000043 .276
Jay Bruce, RF3000112 .171
Todd Frazier, 3B3000102 .250
Devin Mesoraco, C3010120 .455
Zack Cozart, SS3000001 .034
   a-Brayan Pena, PH1000013 .333
Johnny Cueto, P1000010 .200
   Sam LeCure, P0000000 .000
   b-Chris Heisey, PH1000000 .316
   Jonathan Broxton, P0000000 .000
a-struck out for Cozart in the 9th
b-grounded out for LeCure in the 8th
2B - Brandon Phillips (2, Price), Devin Mesoraco (3, Price)
HR - Joey Votto (1, Price)
SH - Johnny Cueto (1)
RBI - Joey Votto (2)
Team LOB - 7
Cincinnati Reds
Johnny Cueto (L,0-2) 7522461 2.14
Sam LeCure 1100100 0.00
Jonathan Broxton 1000120 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Johnny Cueto 119-71, Sam LeCure 16-9, Jonathan Broxton 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johnny Cueto 11-4, Sam LeCure 1-1, Jonathan Broxton 1-0
Batters Faced - Johnny Cueto 30, Sam LeCure 4, Jonathan Broxton 4
Game Information
Attendance - 30502
Game Time - 3:22
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - D.J. Reyburn, First Base - Tim Welke, Second Base - Dan Bellino, Third Base - Jim Reynolds