Less than 24 hours after being no-hit by former starter Edwin Jackson, the Rays gave us all a déjà-vu feeling. In the bottom of the first, Ian Kennedy walked Sean Rodriguez and Evan Longoria giving the Rays two baserunners without the benefit of a hit. Carlos Pena and Kelly Shoppach struck out in the next two at-bats meaning the Rays had accumulated 10 walks in the last 10 innings, but had no runs or hits to show for it.
Furthering the déjà-vu feeling, Ben Zobrist and Willy Aybar led off the second inning with a pair of walks. Matt Joyce entered the box and did something no Rays' player had done since the seventh inning of Thursday's contest; he got a hit. Unfortunately, the hit was not hard enough to score Zobrist, who would later tagged-up on a Jason Bartlett sac-fly. The Rays would put men on second and third again in the third inning, and you guessed it...they failed to score. It's amazing how the law of averages has not caught up to this team. Regression is one thing, simple chance is another.
In the sixth inning, the Rays would finally get going. After Kennedy walked three batters to load the bases, Sean Rodriguez singled on a groundball to left field scoring two runs. Evan Longoria singled to load the bases, and Carlos Pena drove in another run on a fielder's choice.
Despite just five hits, the Rays were on base 11 times via walk and two hit batters in this game. The hits are not quite there, but the team has walked 19 times in two games including 17 off the opposing starter.
Speaking of starters, the Rays' hurler was magnificent.
Tying a career-high 11 strikeouts, David Price worked eight innings allowing just two runs on seven hits and one walk to earn his 11th victory. In recent starts, Price has channeled his inner Scott Kazmir, but not this afternoon. Price threw 113 pitches with 77 falling for strikes (68%).On the other hand, like recent starts, Price went with a heavy fastball approach. He threw a combined 96 fastballs ranging from 92 mph all the way to 97 mph. Of the 96 heaters, 71% of them fell for strikes including 15% swinging strikes.
Rafael Soriano would allow a solo home run to push the score to 5-3 in the ninth inning, but retired the final batters with ease. With the Yankees loss to the Dodgers, the Rays get back a game in the standings and go for the series victory in a few hours.