The Tampa Bay Rays continued their assault on the American League East division, defeating Toronto 6-0 behind a solid effort by pitcher David Price.
Price tossed a four-hitter, and went the distance, improving the Rays’ record to a MLB best 14-5.
“I’ve always believed that when a young pitcher can throw a complete game shutout it does do something for their confidence,” remarked Rays’ manager Joe Maddon said after the game. “And to do it in a minimal number of pitches like that, 108, that’s really good also. I just think it’s a carry-over kind of thing.”
Price (3-1) threw the first complete game in his young career striking out nine as the Rays are now 9-1 within the division.
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“He probably pitched the best against us [this season],” said Toronto manager Cito Gaston. “He threw strikes. He kept the guys off balance. He just had good stuff.”
It was a complete turnaround from Price’s last outing, in which he lasted just five innings, as the Rays were defeated by the Chicago White Sox a week ago.
“Now I know what it takes,” Price said. “I’ve been there and I’ve done that now. I’ve got that first little taste in my mouth. Now I want more. On this staff, five or six innings isn’t enough. We want to go seven, eight or nine, and that’s what these guys have been doing all year.”
The game remained scoreless until the fifth inning when Carlos Pena walked, and B.J Upton singled.
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The Rays added a few more insurance runs in the eighth inning when Pena hit an RBI double, that spearheaded a four-run inning.
On the other side of the diamond, the Blue Jays fall to 10-9, and are in third place in the AL East Division.
Catcher Jose Molina set a team record by throwing out a player from the Rays attempting to steal second base in four straight innings.
“After the second inning I came in and kind of joked around and said ‘Hey, I’ll just walk them and you throw them all out,’ ” remarked pitcher Brandon Morrow, who gave up six walks on the day.
Molina however did not care much after the game, as his record came in a losing effort.
“I don’t look at that personal stuff,” Molina said in a post-game interview. “The only thing I care about is the result of the game and it didn’t go our way.”
Online Sportsbooks like the Rays, and have set them with odds at 9/1 to win the 2010 World Series championship, with Toronto at a distant 100/1.