Rays Late Rally Falls Short, Lose To Astros 2-1

The Tampa Bay Rays were done in by a rookie delivering a stellar performance in his major league debut as they fell to the Houston Astros 2-0 to ending their 8 game winning streak and they fall to 53-41 on the year. The Astros end their current 3 game losing streak and improve to 33-59 on the season.

David Price (3-5, 3.95) was fantastic only allowing 2R/ER on 8 hits striking out 3 and walking 0.  His pitch efficiency was extremely impressive delivering 87 pitches and 70 for strikes. He threw a first pitch strike to 26 of his 32 hitters he faced and induced two ground ball double plays.  He was so dominant and so efficient that after the game Joe Maddon said that Price would have come out for the 10th inning had the Rays tied the game.

Price has made 3 starts since returning from the disabled list and has gone -1 with a 1.08 ERA working 25 innings allowing 19 hits and only 3R/ER with 18 strikeouts and no walks.   He has faced 87 batters during the 3 game stretch and gone to a 3 ball count to only 1 hitter.

According to Price the difference between now and before he went on the DL is “Just throwing strikes. Have the bal lmove in teh strike zone, that’s the best pitch, that’s something that’s a strike for part of the time and then ends up as a ball. Especially if it’s down – my changeup has felt good, just my fastball in to a righty and into a lefty as well, they both feel good.’

As David Price walked to the mound to begin his warm-up tosses in the first inning he was stopped by home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg and he inspected Price’s glove.  After a brief delay Price went to the mound and promptly allowed 4 of the first batters to reach base. Lucky for Price it was more death by paper-cut as the hits were all singles including a 2-RBI single by Carlos Corporan that put the Astros up 2-0. It would be the only runs that Jarrod Cosart would need in his major league debut.

Staked to a 2-0 lead Cosart took the mound and did not allow a base runner until walking Desmond Jennings to lead off the 4th inning.  He walked Wil Myers with 1-out in the 5th but he was erased on a Matt Joyce double play ball. Evan Longoria finally got the Rays first hit in the bottom of the 7th but he was erased on a double play ball as well.  James Loney got the Rays 2nd hit of the game to lead off the bottom of the 8th but he was also erased on a double play ball.

The Rays got their leadoff hitter on board in the bottom of the ninth as Kelly Johnson was pinch hitting for Jose Molina and drew a walk ending Cosart’s bid for the complete game shut out.Jose Veras came in and you can probably guess – got  Yunel Escobar to ground in to a double play.

Desmond Jennings hit what appeared to be a game ending ground ball to shortstop Jake Elmore but his throw short hopped Brett Wallace who was unable to scoop it and the Rays were given new life.

the offense took advantage of the miscue to push across a run and have the tying run 90 feet away. Luke Scott followed with a single to send Jennings to 3rd and Scott was replaced by pinch runner Sam Fuld. Ben Zobrist singled into right center field scoring Jennings as Sam Fuld raced around 3rd but was held up by 3rd base coach Tom Foli. With the tying run at 3rd and the go-ahead run at first Evan Longoria struck out looking to end the game.

David Price appreciated the effort saying of the offense, “they never quit…We’re going to scratch a run across at some point.”

Jarred Cosart (1-0, 0.00 ERA) picks up the win and Jose Veras earned his 18th save on the season. Cosart became the first pitcher to deliver 8 or more innings of of scoreless baseball in his major league debut since The Tigers Andy Van Hekken on September 3, 2002. The last pitcher to go 8 or more scoreless innings with 2 hits or less in his major league debut was Jimmy Jones of the San Diego Padres on September 21, 1986. The last American League pitcher to go 8 or more scoreless innings in his major league debut was the Red Sox Billy Rohr on April 14, 1967.

The Rays will look to start a new winning streak tomorrow as they send Roberto Hernandez (4-10, 4.93 ERA) to the mound against Astros left hander Dallas Keuchel.

I am a fan of all sports but am most passionate about baseball. From the fanatical to analytical, nothing about the game escapes me. Being born and raised in Northeast Ohio I'm very familiar with the heartache and pain that sports can bring and hope that I bring some understanding of the other side to my coverage. I will focus mostly on baseball but also cover the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of the most electric franchises in all of sports. Always willing to converse about any sport and have only one rule and that is be respectful at all times.