For the second straight day, the Rays and Jays played a game much closer than the final score indicated. The Rays wrapped up another meatloaf series victory with 6-0 final today, but for most of the game the two teams were within two runs of each other.
Brandon Morrow had a no-hitter going into the fifth inning until a B.J. Upton bloop double down the right field line dashed the bid. Morrow held the Rays hitless over the first four frames, although he did hand out a few free passes.The Rays were unable to do anything with those gifts as they were caught stealing four times in the first four innings. Morrow struck out eight batters in six innings, but also gave up six walks. While Morrow was effectively wild, David Price was effectively brilliant.
Coming off his worst start of the young season, Price delivered arguably his best start ever.
The Riddler kept the Jays hitters guessing all afternoon as he allowed no runs on four hits and one walk while striking out nine. Price went the full nine innings for the first time to give himself complete game shutout number one of his big league career. He would need 108 pitches to finish the game with 76 of them going for strikes. Over 11% of the 108 pitches were swinging strikes - another fantastic number.
Outside of the nine strikeouts, Price got some excellent plays from the left side of his infield. Reid Brignac made two line drive catches including one that caught Brignac more than he caught it. Evan Longoria made a wonderful stop that would've been impressive had it gotten one out; however, the Rays were able to turn two on the play and ensured Price a shot at the shutout. In total, Price would induce 11 groundball outs.
Offensively, John Jaso continued to build on his case for more playing time. After a two-run home run last night, Jaso plated two more runs in the fifth inning with a base hit. The Jays brought the infield in with runners on second and third to prevent a hard hit ball from scoring a run. In just another sign of things going he Rays way, the ball hit by Jaso was hit right to Aaron Hill, but bounced off of his glove and into right field. Had Hill been playing at his normal position, that ball is a groundout to second. In addition to the big hits, Jaso now has more walks than Navarro (5 to 4) despite less than half the plate appearances.
The Rays would score four more runs in the eighth giving them 24 eighth innings runs this season. After being no-hit over the first four innings, the team scored six runs on eight hits over the final four. At 14-5, the Rays will enjoy just the second off day of the season tomorrow; so will I.