David Price entered this game with 121 strikeouts on the season, of his 997 career K's, and just 10 walks over fifteen starts. He got to that mark this season by pitching in the zone, and he continued that trend tonight. To a fault in two at bats, truth be told.
Change ups to the dead center of the strikezone allowed Jose Altuve and George Springer to score on the latter's longball to left field. No matter for an ace, though.
After being punished for leaving it too easily hit, David Price settled in. He went on to pitch eight innings of 12 strikeout ball, with his season worst three walks. With that, the ace of the staff crosses the 1,000 strikeout mark in another stellar start. It's a pitch the offense offered no support.
According to Marc Topkin, Price picked the right night to show everyone his stuff. Representatives from the Cardinals, Giants, Indians, and even the Yankees and Blue Jays were in attendance. Smell's like smoke, and it's not just Price throwing heat.
One more Houston run would score on a home run off Juan Carlos Oviedo in the final frame.
It would be the bottom of the ninth inning when the Rays finally got active (against the mighty Chad Qualls). Evan Longoria reached on an error by short stop Jonathan Villar, then James Loney came through with a clutch single to put a man in scoring position. After a pinch strike out by Matt Joyce, the struggling Ben Zobrist chopped to the first baseman, and the Astros took the fielder's choice at second.
Runners on the corners, two outs for Yunel Escobar. He laced one low and through the right side, allowing one run would score, but then Ryan Hanigan fanned -- he, the replacement for Sean Rodriguez after a pinch run for Jose Molina. But my goodness, I'm not sure he needed a pinch runner tonight.
Jose Molina stole a base in the third inning, breaking for the swipe before the pitch. I can't make sense of it, but he was safe, and notched his first steal of the year. That, and a diving catch by Brandon Guyer in left field, is all we got for excitement from the Rays line up this evening.
David Price: 16 games, 133 strikeouts, 13 walks, and a FIP below 3.00.