ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Not even a stomach virus could derail David Price's surge.
The All-Star left-hander scattered five hits in eight-plus innings to win his fourth consecutive start and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0 on Sunday.Price (9-7), who had his start pushed back one day due to being ill, struck out five and walked one. He was pulled after giving up a leadoff single in the ninth to Melky Cabrera."Everything was working," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "They weren't getting comfortable swings on him. Really fun to watch."Price let the team know Saturday night that he felt good enough to pitch Sunday. He watched Saturday's game at home on TV.Because Price pitched on Sunday, he is ineligible to play in the All-Star game Tuesday night in Minnesota. His roster spot was taken by his former teammate, Seattle closer Fernando Rodney.When asked if he was disappointed about not pitching in the All-Star game, Price said yes and no."It's always fun to be part of an All-Star game," he said.The Rays, who have won 11 of 15, got RBI singles from Logan Forsythe and Jose Molina. Jake McGee got three outs for his seventh save."There was no let up the day before All-Star break," Maddon said. "We didn't mail anything in."R.A. Dickey (7-9) gave up two runs and five hits over six innings."That's a perennial All-Star over there," Dickey said of Price. "You know when you're pitching against a guy like that you don't have a lot of margin for error."Toronto has not won a road series against Tampa Bay since April 2007, a span of 22 sets."Please don't ask a question about the streak in Tampa," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said as reporters entered his office after the game.Toronto has lost eight of 10 overall.Despite their recent struggles, the Blue Jays' 49 wins at the All-Star break are their most since 2006. A win Sunday would have given them 50 victories before the break for the first time since 1992.The Rays took a 1-0 lead on a two-out single by Forsythe in the second.Tampa Bay went ahead 2-0 during the sixth thanks to a video replay. Yunel Escobar was thrown out trying to score from second by right fielder Jose Bautista on Molina's two-out single, but the call was overturned.Evan Longoria's seventh-inning sacrifice fly made it 3-0.Dickey worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the third by striking out Brandon Guyer and getting a flyball from Escobar. The Rays are hitting .181 (13 for 72) with the bases loaded this season.
Tampa Bay activated McGee from the paternity list and optioned RHP Jeremy Hellickson to Double-A Montgomery. Hellickson is coming back from right elbow surgery in January, and the move will allow him to pitch Monday during the All-Star break. Maddon said Hellickson make a second start in the minors next weekend. ... Rays C Ryan Hanigan (sore left side) sat out his third consecutive game, while CF Desmond Jennings (bruised left knee) missed his second straight. ... Blue Jays SS Jose Reyes singled in the sixth and has a nine-game hitting streak.
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ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 13: Pitcher David Price #14 of the Tampa Bay Rays hauls in the pop out by Dan Johnson...
17,187 (50.4% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
Home Plate - Sean Barber, First Base - Tim Timmons, Second Base - Todd Tichenor, Third Base - Mike Everitt
David Price pitched at least eight innings in a start for the 10th time this season on Sunday, the most such games in the majors.
It's already Price's career high for most starts in a season with at least eight innings pitched.