Price is right, Rays take advantage of free bases, beat D-Backs 5-3

While it’s always great to see the Rays do well on offense, I love watching David Price pitch. His resilience is amazing for such a young kid. I’m amazed to see him pull himself out of a bases-loaded hole – much like he did in the fifth when Rusty Ryal, Chris Snyder and Cole Gillespie all singled – although I’m not too keen on watching him dig the hole to begin with. To think that this guy is still developing is mind-blowing. Price matched his career high for strikeouts in a game, originally set against the Minnesota Twins on May 30, 2009.

“He was just all over the zone tonight,” said Rays manager Joe Maddon. “He kept pounding with really good quality pitches. I thought he looked great.”

There are no other trends or anomalies to discuss, really. The Bay-Area boys turned in a solid outing and finally took advantage of their opponents’ mistakes; Price became the first MLB pitcher to reach 11 wins this season. A good solid win like this helps fans forget the Friday night's sorry showing, so I'm glad the boys could get it done tonight.

Quick strikes

Does Matt Joyce really have Linkin Park as his entrance music? Ugh… and to think I live in the same ZIP code where this guy went to HS…

Price struck out 11 batters, so make sure you claim your free Papa John’s pizza by clicking Make sure you channel Bob Barker or the Price is Right theme song as you enjoy it. I seriously think they should play it every time he takes the mound.

Boston Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia, Massachusetts’ favorite rodent, is on the 15-day disabled list with a non-displaced fracture of the navicular bone, a result of fouling a pitch off of his own foot Friday night against the San Francisco Giants. I’m no doctor but that sounds like it hurts and while I’m no fan of the 2008 AL MVP, I’m also not so bad a sport as to take joy in a talented athlete’s unfortunate injury. I’m sure the Rays have the same mixed feelings, as they’re “Shipping up to Boston” after Sunday’s series finale against Arizona to face the Red Sox Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. Best of luck to seemingly the shortest man to turn a fastball around and go yard.

looked masterful Saturday afternoon as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3 at Tropicana Field. The hard-throwing lefty struck out 11 batters to match a career high. Price gave up just a single walk and was responsible for two earned runs.

“When he’s on, you know he’s on,” said Rays 2B Sean Rodriguez, who got a hit, a walk, and two RBI in three at-bats.

In addition to great pitching, the Rays took advantage of free bases, in the form of 11 walks and two hit batters. While unable to convert them in recent outings, all of Tampa Bay's runs scored Saturday originated either as walks or batters hit by pitches. Ben Zobrist came around to score in the second inning after having walked, brought in by Jason Bartlett’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly. Matt Joyce, Bartlett, and B.J. Upton all walked in the sixth; Joyce and Bartlett were brought in by a Rodriguez single and Upton tallied another on Carlos Pena’s ground ball. Zobrist was hit by a pitch in the seventh and stole second base for the second time in the game; he advanced to third base on a wild pitch. Bartlett then bunted his way aboard, scoring Big Ben on the Rays’ patented safety squeeze.

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