Price whiffs 12, goes distance as Rays rally in ninth
DeJesus ties game with a homer before Joyce's game-winning single
SEATTLE -- The Rays' offense kicked into place in heroic fashion in the ninth inning of Tuesday night's 2-1 win over the Mariners, but the game clearly belonged to David Price.
The Rays snapped a two-game skid and moved to 1-1 on their current six-game road trip while improving to 17-23 on the season.
Mostly, the Rays needed a starting pitcher to go deep into the game Tuesday night. Price gave his team what it needed, but he got no run support until David DeJesus homered off old Rays friend Fernando Rodney in the ninth to tie the game at 1.
"I just wanted to have a good at-bat," DeJesus said. "I got down 0-2 right away. I was like, 'All right, I'm going to have to battle.' He almost drilled me with one. I didn't want to get hit, because that was going to hurt. I was not going to be in the game for a while.
"You know what helped me get my confidence back, when I fouled the fastball off to left field, I was like, 'I feel like I can get to the fastball.' So that gave me confidence. He hung the changeup. ... I looked at the outfielder, he got to the wall, I was like, 'Oh gosh, that's a shot.'"
James Loney added a two-out single before Desmond Jennings singled to left, moving pinch-runner Sean Rodriguez to second. Matt Joyce dropped a single into right that scored Rodriguez to give the Rays a 2-1 lead.
"You keep fighting," Joyce said. "You keep grinding it out. ... It's been a tough part for us and hopefully this is something that will get us going. It's definitely something we needed."
A disappointed Rodney was philosophical.
"It's a difficult game," Rodney said. "This game is difficult to play every night. It's a one-run ballgame. You have to come in and make good pitch, the best you have. They just beat me tonight."
Price then sent down the Mariners in order the ninth to finish his complete-game effort with one run allowed on six hits and 12 strikeouts under his belt.
"He wasn't coming out," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "He was so sharp. He kept hitting the glove. [Jose Molina] did a great job with him, [Ryan Hanigan] finished it up. But from the side, just watching his face. This guy was totally locked in tonight making great pitches. He picked us up big time. It was a great, great effort on his part.
Prior to the Rays' rally, Price and Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma had been locked in a pitchers' duel.
James Jones doubled to left off Price to lead off the Mariners first. He moved to first on a groundout then scored when Robinson Cano grounded to first to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead.
A lot of zeros followed by both pitchers.
Price, who was making his first career start at Safeco Field, proved to be a master escape artist beginning in the second when he allowed a two-out double to Dustin Ackley. He struck out the next batter, Mike Zunino, to end the inning.
Cano doubled to start the fourth. Price then struck out Corey Hart and Justin Smoak swinging before getting Kyle Seager to pop out to end the inning.
Zunino doubled with one out in the fifth and Price again rallied to the occasion, striking out Brad Miller and Jones to end the rally.
Price gave up a one-out single to Cano in the sixth and uncorked a wild pitch that went into the stands, allowing Cano to reach second. Hart then grounded out, moving Cano to third, before Smoak popped out to end the inning.
"I had runners in scoring position four times, that was big," Price said. "I was happy to get through those."
Iwakuma allowed a one-out double to DeJesus in the first, then proceeded to retire the next 13 batters he faced before a Joyce single.
When Joyce and Yunel Escobar cobbled together singles with two outs in the Rays fifth, Iwakuma retired Molina on a popout to second to end the threat.
Iwakuma allowed no runs on four hits and no walks while striking out five in eight innings, but he came away with a no-decision after Rodney's blown save.
Iwamura "was good," Molina said. "That guy he was unhittable tonight. You don't see that many runs up there. That many hits. He was on his game today. ... Tonight he was really good."
On Monday, Price talked about finding a team moment. After the offense came back against Rodney and he chipped in with a complete game, Tuesday night's game seemed made to order.
"Hopefully so," Price said. "Hopefully we can just get it going. Everybody here wants to win. We all try extremely hard. If we can just keep it going. Keep the ball going in the right direction. We can win some games."