David Price set the Tampa Bay Rays’ single-game strikeout record by fanning 14 in seven shutout innings, while the offense teed off on Toronto Blue Jays pitching en route to a 12-0 beatdown at Rogers Centre on Sunday afternoon.
Desmond Jennings led off the game with a home run, then added a second dinger later in the game as he went 4-for-5. The recently-maligned 7-8-9 hitters in the Tampa Bay order (Matt Joyce, John Jaso, and Sean Rodriguez) also combined for a single, three doubles, a triple, a home run, and six runs batted in. Every Rays batter got at least one hit except for Casey Kotchman, who still drew a pair of walks and scored a run.
But the story was Price, who was absolutely dominant. The windy day in Toronto gave his fastball and slider extra movement, and the Blue Jays didn’t stand a chance. Price struck out the first six hitters he faced and eight of the first nine. He recorded a strikeout in each inning he pitched except the sixth, and Jose Molina’s punchout in the seventh set the franchise record. Price went seven innings and allowed just three hits and two walks in 111 pitches.
Toronto hitters struck out a total of 18 times on Sunday. Kelly Johnson took the golden sombrero with four K’s, while Molina and Jose Bautista struck out three times apiece. (At least this time Bautista didn’t get himself ejected like he did after going down on strikes three times on Friday night.)
While the Rays pitchers had no trouble in the blustery conditions, the Blue Jays struggled. Toronto pitchers issued nine walks in all. Brandon Morrow gave up five earned runs and three homers in 5 1/3 innings. Aaron Ledezma was sacrificed in the ninth as the Rays piled on six more runs to drive the game out of hand.
The Rays look for a four-game sweep on Monday night. Wade Davis gets the ball for Tampa Bay, while Ricky Romero will be on the mound for the Blue Jays.