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Johnny Damon, Ben Zobrist Power Rays to a 6-4 Win Over Blue Jays

In order to win today, the Rays needed nearly everything to go right...and that just about happened. David Price lasted eight innings while holding the Blue Jays to four runs, and both Johnny Damon and Ben Zobrist had homeruns to power the Rays offense to a 6-4 victory. This win snapped a two-game losing streak and brought the Rays back to within one win of .500.

Brandon Morrow was pitching for the Blue Jays, and the Rays probably got lucky that this was his first start of the season. He gave the Rays' hitters fits, striking out 10 batters and generating 14 swinging strikes, but he was held to a strict pitch count and only lasted through 5.2 5.1 innings. He also allowed a first-inning homerun to Johnny Damon, giving the Rays an early 2-0 lead, and walked two batters a batter in the sixth inning that came around to score on Ben Zobrist's homerun. His velocity didn't decrease as the game went along, but his command did get worse toward the end of his start.

David Price wasn't quite as dominant as Brandon Morrow, striking out five batters and allowing 10 baserunners over his eight innings pitched, but he did hold the Blue Jays to only four runs. If not for Jose Bautista, though, Price's final line would look a lot better; Bautista had three hits against Price, including two homeruns, and he had a hand in three of the Jays' four runs.

The ninth inning was a little interesting. David Price didn't quite have the steam to finish out the game, and he allowed a run on a single, double, and another single before being replaced by Kyle Farnsworth. Farnsworth allowed one more run to score, but then got three infield outs to close out the game without any more damage.

Game Notes:

  • I mentioned Jose Bautista's line up above, but let me just reiterate: the man is a friggin' beast. He's reached base in every plate appearance against the Rays this series, and his series line looks something like this: 6-6 with two singles, double, three homeruns, and three walks. Wowzers.
  • With runners on first and second with no outs in the ninth, the Jays made an interesting decision to bunt the runners over. I don't normally think of Travis Snider as fast, but from the replays it looked like he beat the throw. If he'd been safe in that situation, the game could've ended up differently than it did.
  • With Morrow being so tough on right-handed batters, Ben Zobrist and Johnny Damon were two people the Rays really needed to contribute today. Their homeruns were perfect, and the two of them are now tied for the team lead in homeruns with four. 
  • Joe Maddon was a big fan of Damon's at bat against Morrow in the sixth inning, noting how Damon's prolonged at bat got Morrow to his pitch limit and allowed the Rays to finish the inning with a walk and homerun.