It was one of the few marks they made on him.
Price shut down baseball’s hottest team without much trouble, carrying a shutout into the eighth inning and leading the Tampa Bay Rays to an 8-2 win Wednesday night, stopping the Indians’ home winning streak at 14 straight.
Price (5-3) was perfect for four innings, dominant for seven and became the first opposing pitcher to record a win at Cleveland in more than a month. The left-hander allowed two runs and five hits—four doubles—in eight innings, struck out seven and did not yield a walk.
Ben Zobrist(notes) and Matt Joyce(notes) homered, Sam Fuld(notes) had three hits and B.J. Upton(notes) had two RBIs as the Rays roughed up starter Carlos Carrasco(notes) (1-2) and won for just the third time in 22 games at Cleveland since 2005. At 12-5, Tampa Bay has the majors’ best road record.
Afterward, Price wore a wrap on his right wrist, which was struck by a vicious line drive hit by Austin Kearns(notes) in the sixth inning. Price said he never considered leaving the game, and was more upset that he couldn’t finish off a potential shutout, giving up two runs in the eighth.
“I’ve got to be able to finish off a game better than that,” he said.
The Indians, who came in a major league-best 23-11, got a positive medical report after the game on center fielder Grady Sizemore(notes), who injured his knee sliding into second on Tuesday. An MRI revealed no structural damage, only a bruise, and manager Manny Acta said the three-time All-Star is day to day.
“It’s good news for us,” Acta said.
The loss was Cleveland’s first at Progressive Field since April 2. Since then, the Indians had swept series from Boston, Baltimore, Kansas City and Detroit, and won the opener of this three-game set with their fourth straight victory in their final at-bat.
There would be no such dramatics against Price.
The lanky 6-foot-6 Price was more than nice through four innings, retiring 12 straight effortlessly. There has never been a no-hitter at Progressive Field, which opened in 1994, and Price seemed on his way to at least make a strong bid at history.
But Carlos Santana(notes) opened the fifth with a double off the right-field wall, and that’s where he stayed as Price struck out Duncan, retired Orlando Cabrera(notes) on an easy fly to right and froze Matt LaPorta(notes) with a 90 mph slider after serving him three straight fastballs in the upper 90s.
“Price was just overpowering,” Acta said. “You know how overpowering a guy is when everyone knows what is coming and you still can’t hit it. He was that way for seven innings.”
In the sixth, Price shook off being nailed by Kearns, who led off with the screamer through the box. After Price picked up the ball and threw out Kearns, manager Joe Maddon and a trainer came out to check on their ace, who wasn’t about to come out.
Price said he didn’t take any extra satisfaction in becoming the first pitcher to beat the Indians at home in 15 games.
“You want to go out there and throw your game no matter who you are facing,” he said. “That’s a tough lineup. They didn’t have Grady and Travis (Hafner) in there today, but it’s still a tough lineup. That’s s good win for us.”
Zobrist led off the seventh with his eighth homer, and Upton’s two-run double put the Rays up by enough that Price had nothing to worry about. Not that the 25-year-old has ever shown much stress. In his last 43 starts, he’s 27-9 with a 2.88 ERA.
The Rays scored three times and took a 4-0 lead in the fourth, when Carrasco’s defense didn’t help him out on two plays.
Upton beat out a bunt and Casey Kotchman(notes) singled to open the inning. Reid Brignac(notes) popped out trying to bunt, and John Jaso(notes) followed with a grounder to first. LaPorta fielded it cleanly, but wasn’t sure what to do and was late throwing home as Upton scored.
Fuld followed with an RBI single to make it 3-0, and Zobrist’s sacrifice fly capped the inning.
Notes: The Indians dropped to 7-1 against the AL East. … Upton will begin serving his two-game suspension Thursday when the teams meet in a matinee. He was suspended and fined $1,500 for a tirade after striking out for the fourth time on May 4 against Toronto. He was originally going to serve the penalty last week, but appealed it and decided to wait. “It’s not something I want to go through, but I have to take responsibility for my actions,” he said. … Brignac has gone 104 at-bats without an extra-base hit, a club record.