video thumbnail

BAL@TB: Price blanks O's through eight superb frames

ST. PETERSBURG -- There were two ways to interpret how Sunday's game between the Rays and the Orioles at Tropicana Field went.

Either there was a great pitcher's duel in which both starters shut down both lineups, or neither offense could put together a string of hits to get a run across the plate.

In the case of Tampa Bay, it was probably a little of both in what wound up being a 1-0 loss in the 10th inning.

"We pitched great, but what are you gonna do," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We just can't hit right now. ... We have to continue to try to figure it out. The pitching was stellar, David was great, we played good defense again."

Rays starter David Price finished the day after eight shutout innings that saw him give up two hits and three walks to go along with five strikeouts. It was the ninth straight start in which Price went at least seven innings and the 16th time on the year.

"I got some outs on changeups today, and I was able to get some early outs on some cutters," Price said. "My fastball today wasn't what it has been the past couple of starts, but it was good to see myself go out there and continue to compete."

Tampa Bay lost a series after winning the previous four, thanks in large part to being held scoreless in the last 21 innings.

"I'm at the point now where I'd really like them to do less as opposed to more, I mean that," Maddon said. "I'd rather go American Legion right now and just show up and play. I think there's something to be said for that. ... I'd rather us go the other way, back off with the work, go play, come with a fresh mind and body, and I think we'll have a better result."

Matt Joyce, who went 1-for-3 on the day, agreed with Maddon that the club's batters may be pressing too hard to get a hit.

"The natural reaction to when you struggle is to try harder, and a lot of times when you do that with hitting, it goes the opposite way," Joyce said. "The more relaxed you are, the more confident you are, the more successful you're gonna be."

Miguel Gonzalez took the mound for the O's and pitched his best game of the season, throwing seven shutout innings, allowing two hits and four walks and striking out four.

Neither team could establish any momentum, combining for just four hits and seven walks in the first seven innings.

"This time of the year, I'm sure you all are noticed there's a lot of well-pitched games," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "That's pretty normal from my experience. Late July through the month of August, you'll see some pitchers on top of their game. That's where the fatigue really starts to set in on some of the position players and pitchers are getting four, five days off."

Baltimore elected to turn to its bullpen first, sending in Darren O'Day to take on Tampa Bay, sitting down all three batters he saw before the game moved to the ninth.

After a scoreless inning, the O's finally scored the game's only run in the top of the 10th, when Taylor Teagarden, who entered the game with a .083 average, doubled to left center field off Joel Peralta to bring in Mark Reynolds.

"He's not the best hitter on that team, but to me he was tonight," Peralta said. "He fouled off a couple good pitches and got to 3-2. ... You got to challenge the guy and he got me. It cost me the game, cost us the game. I should have made better [pitches] there."

Maddon hinted that that having Peralta warm up in the eighth inning and then again to be ready for the 10th may have been hard for the reliever, but the righty said he "cannot use that as an excuse."

"I don't think that's why I left that pitch up there," he said.

The run was the first allowed by the Rays bullpen since losing a 15-inning marathon to the Athletics on Monday.

MLB.com Comments