ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Facing the defending American League Cy Young Award winner might seem a peculiar remedy for offensive woes, but it worked for the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.
After being shut out in the first two games of the three-game series, Cleveland hammered David Price for five innings and avoided a sweep at Tropicana Field with a 13-0 rout.
Price (0-1), who had not lost to the Indians in six previous starts, was charged with eight earned runs and 10 hits in five innings. He struck out just three and walked three. Price had not allowed an earned run in three career starts against Cleveland at Tropicana Field.
Indians starter Justin Masterson quietly dominated while Price struggled, improving to 2-0 after allowing two hits and striking out eight in seven innings.
Cleveland outhit the Rays 17-3.
The Indians scored three times in the third and four in the fifth to blow the game open.
In the fifth, eighth-place hitter Lonnie Chisenhall hit a three-run homer and Carlos Santana delivered a run-scoring double. Price allowed four hits in the inning, including a leadoff double by Ryan Raburn.
Price labored in the third and the Indians punished him, scoring three times for a 4-0 lead. He struggled with control, falling behind and eventually walking Asdrubal Cabrera and Raburn. After a hard lineout to left by Nick Swisher, Price surrendered a soaring three-run homer to center by Mark Reynolds on an 0-and-1 curveball.
In the seventh, Reynolds hit his fourth homer of the year off reliever Kyle Farnsworth and Santana doubled and scored on a Mike Aviles single for a 10-0 bulge. Michael Bourn made it 11-0 off Brandon Gomes in the eighth with his first homer of the season.
Santana capped a career-best 5-for-5 game with a two-run homer off Fernando Rodney in the ninth for a 13-0 lead.
An RBI single by ninth-place hitter Drew Stubbs had given Cleveland a 1-0 lead in the second. Aviles, who reached on a fielder's choice, had taken third on a Chisenhall groundout that resulted in Reynolds being caught in a rundown between third and home.
NOTES: Cleveland's run in the second inning ended its scoreless streak in the series at 19 innings. ... Santana, the Indians' catcher, was struck on the right hand by a Matt Joyce foul ball in the second inning despite shielding the hand behind his right foot. He remained in the game. ... Bourn led off the a game with a double for the second time in the series. ... Rays pitcher Jeremy Hellickson was presented his 2012 Gold Glove Award before the game. ... Rays reliever Jeff Niemann will have his sore right shoulder examined Monday in Texas, according to tbo.com. He is on the 15-day disabled list. ... The Rays entered the game as one of four major-league teams without an error. They committed an uncharacteristic 114 last season.