The Rays defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 in 10 innings to earn a series split after Luke Scott drew a bases loaded walk making a winner out of Kyle Farnsworth (2-0, 6.48) who worked a scoreless 10th inning as the Rays improved their record to 16-18. Jays reliever Brad Lincoln walked both batters he faced including the game winner to Luke Scott making a loser out of Aaron Loup (1-3, 3.32 ERA) which drops the Jays record to 13-23.
Before taking the mound on Thursday night David Price saw his earned run average drop from 6.25 to 5.24 after Major League Baseball scoring committee reversed the Coors Field official scorers call on a groundball to Ben Zobrist in Price’s last start from a hit to an error resulting in 5 earned runs coming off Price’s record (watch video here).
While his ERA took a step backward David Price took a big step forward. He worked deep into the game going 8 innings allowing 4R/2ER on 7 hits striking out 8 and walking 1. He attacked the Jays hitters with 45 two-seam fastballs and 35 of them were strikes averaging 94.3 mph. He faced 33 batters and delivered a first pitch strike to 20 of them. Overall he threw 117 pitches which 82 were strikes and included 11 swinging strikes.
Fernando Rodney worked a scoreless 9th inning and although his fastball averaged 99 mph and hit 100 on the stadium gun he still allowed a base hit and he hit J.P. Arencibia with a pitch but it was encouraging to see him mix his fastball and changeup (9 FB/8 CH). Kyle Farnsworth came in to work a scoreless 10th inning retiring the side in order on only 10 pitches.
The Rays offense received key hits from Ben Zobrist (triple) and Yunel Escobar (home run). Evan Longoria led the way with 3 hits including 2 doubles to raise his season average to .331 and James Loney continued to reach base drawing 3 walks (1 intentional) and even had a sacrifice bunt that nearly led to a Rays run.
The game was billed as the battle of Cy Young winners and R.A. Dickey pitched well enough to win on most nights. He worked 6 innings allowed 3R/2ER on 5 hits striking out 5 and walking 5. He was followed to the mound by Steve Delabar who allowed 1-run in the 7th inning, Darren Oliver who shut the Rays down for 2 innings, Aaron Loup who retired 2 hitters in the 10th before departing with 2 men on base, and Brad Lincoln who walked both batters he faced.
The Rays jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a Evan Longoria double that scored Kelly Johnson and he then came around to score on a Matt Joyce single. Jose Bautista’s throw to the plate seemed to arrive in time but when catcher Henry Blanco went to apply the sweep tag Longoria hurdled over him to avoid it.
The Jays came back with a single tally in the top of the 2nd on a 1-out single by Colby Rasmus that scored Edwin Encarnacion who had been hit by a pitch to lead off the inning.
The Jays moved ahead 3-2 in the top of the 3rd inning when Rajai Davis, who had reached on an Evan Longoria error, came in to score on a Jose Bautista double which cut the Rays lead to 3-2. Bautista came in to score the go-ahead run on a ball off the splintered bat of Edwin Encarnacion fell just out of the reach Rays 2b Ben Zobrist.
The Rays came back to tie the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the 3rd after a 2-out passed ball allowed Ben Zobrist who had tripled to score.
The Jays took a 4-3 lead in the top of the 5th inning by manufacturing a run. Rajai Davis led off the inning with a single, stole second and third, and came in to score on a sacrifice fly by Jose Bautista.
The game drew even again in the bottom of the 7th thanks to a leadoff home run by Yunel Escobar off Jays reliever Steve Delabar.
The Rays had a great opportunity to take the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning. With 2-outs and Evan Longoria at 2nd Joe Maddon allowed Luke Scott to face lefty Darren Oliver. Scott came through with a single but Jose Bautista charged the ball and unleashed a perfect strike to catcher Henry Blanco who slapped the tag on Longoria for the out.
Aaron Loup retired the first two Rays hitters in the bottom of the 1oth before surrendering a 2-out double to Evan Longoria and intentionally walking James Loney. He was replaced by Brad Lincoln who walked Ryan Roberts to load the bases and then issued the game winning walk to Luke Scott giving the Rays a true walk off victory.