The Tampa Bay Rays moved into first place in the AL East on Friday night with a 5-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field. David Price pitched 7.1 innings of shutout baseball, allowing just three hits and striking out five. He was dominant all evening, setting the tone for a weekend series between the two top teams in the East.
On offense, it was the 6-7-8 hitters who did all the damage for Joe Maddon. Tampa put a five-spot on the board in the first inning and that closed the books on all the scoring for the night. It started with Luke Scott singling home B.J. Upton and Matt Joyce. Sean Rodriguez then brought home Ben Zobrist with a sacrifice back to the pitcher. And to cap it off, it was the new call-up Hideki Matsui, who ripped his second homer in the past three games. It was a two-run shot to left that ended the early rally off Wei-Yin Chen.
Tampa will look to clinch the series on Saturday with Jeremy Hellickson on the mound. Baltimore will counter with Brian Matusz.
Read more about the Rays at DRaysBay. For more in-depth coverage on the other side, visit Orioles blog Camden Chat. Go to Baseball Nation for additional news and notes around the league.