Tampa Bay (9-11) at Toronto (9-10)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 68° F
  • Game info: 1:07 pm EDT Sat Apr 23, 2011
Preview | Box Score | Recap

David Price(notes) is starting to find the form that made him a 19-game winner for the Tampa Bay Rays last season. He’s usually at his best against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The left-hander tries to win a third straight start and continue his success against the Blue Jays on Saturday at the Rogers Centre.

Price (2-2, 2.83 ERA) allowed seven runs in 13 innings while losing his first two starts, but has given up two over 15 2-3 to win his last two outings. He earned his first career victory against the Chicago White Sox as he allowed four hits and struck out nine in eight innings of a 5-0 home win Monday.

Since 2008, Tampa Bay is 40-19 in games started by Price.

“Price was outstanding,” Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. “When you’re pitching that way, it’s hard to beat them.”

Tampa Bay (9-11) has yet to been beat by Toronto when Price is on the mound.

In seven starts against the Blue Jays, Price is 6-0 with a 1.93 ERA. However, eight of the 10 career runs he’s allowed against them have come in two starts at Toronto. He gave up two runs in eight innings of a 7-3 win in his only 2010 appearance at Toronto on June 2.

Price looks to help the Rays avoid a third straight loss while opposing Brandon Morrow(notes), who is facing the right team for his 2011 debut for the Blue Jays.

The right-hander went 10-7 with a 4.49 ERA in his first full season as a starter last year for Toronto, but opened this season on the disabled list with elbow inflammation. Morrow allowed eight earned runs over 9 1-3 innings in three minor league rehab starts.

“Everything (has gone) fine,” manager John Farrell told the Blue Jays’ official website.

The highlight of Morrow’s first season with Toronto came Aug. 8, when he tossed a one-hitter and struck out a career-high 17 in a 1-0 home win over the Rays for his first complete game.

“He was putting guys away better than anybody I’ve ever seen,” said injured Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria(notes), who broke up Morrow’s no-hit bid with a two-out single in the ninth.

Morrow, 2-1 with a 1.67 ERA in four starts against the Rays, allowed three runs, seven hits and struck out 26 over 22 innings in three matchups versus Tampa Bay in 2010. His only defeat came at Tropicana Field, where he allowed two runs in six innings but could not match Price, who tossed a four-hitter in a 6-0 win April 25.

Morrow looks to help the Blue Jays (9-10) build on a 6-4, 11-inning win in Friday’s series opener. John McDonald’s(notes) two-run walkoff homer gave Toronto its second victory in three games following a 2-7 stretch.

McDonald replaced second baseman Jayson Nix(notes), who left with a sore left knee and is day to day.

Jose Bautista(notes) went 3 for 3 with his fifth homer. Last year’s home run leader with 54, Bautista has two over the last three games, and is 7 for 18 in his last five. Bautista is 5 for 16 with a homer against Price.

Tampa Bay outfielder Sam Fuld(notes) had three hits Friday. Unable to earn a chance for regular playing time in three seasons with the Cubs, Fuld is batting .366 in 2011.

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Starting Pitchers

D. Price Det vs. B. Morrow SD
12-13 Record 11-11
3.49 ERA 4.72
218 K 203
63 BB 69
1.14 WHIP 1.29


Saturday, Apr 23