Rays waste Price’s strong start, lose 3-1
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — David Price has every reason to be frustrated after another double-digit strikeout start ended in defeat.
Price gave up six hits while striking out 12 in eight innings of the Tampa Bay Rays’ 3-1 loss to the Houston Astros on Friday night.
“He’s probably pitching as good as he can, and I think he has,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “Talk about unfortunate, we’re wasting a lot of really good pitching from him.”
It was Price’s fourth straight game with double digits in strikeouts, tying Boston’s Jon Lester (2010) for the longest such streak since 2008. Price is 1-3 in those four starts.
“It stinks,” Price said. “We want to win out there. Our team wants to win. We’re not doing that right now. So, it’s frustrating.”
A second-inning strikeout of Chris Carter was the 1,000th of Price’s career.
Jarred Cosart pitched eight shutout innings to beat Tampa Bay once again, and rookie George Springer hit a two-run homer.
“He’s a guy I’ve watched for years, and he’s one of the best in the league and he’s proven that,” Cosart said of Price. “It’s always fun to beat the best.”
Cosart (7-5) gave up six hits in winning his third straight start. He walked one and struck out two, retiring 12 straight at one point.
“Jarred Cosart was unbelievable,” Astros manager Bo Porter said.
Cosart topped the Rays last Saturday in Houston, the Astros’ last victory before losing four in a row.
“He pitched well,” Maddon said. “He’s pitch well against us every time.”
The pitching matchup against Price (5-7) was a rematch of Cosart’s major league debut at Tropicana Field last July 12 in which he took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning and finished with eight shutout innings and a win.
The Rays scored an unearned run in the ninth off reliever Chad Qualls, who got his ninth save. Yunel Escobar hit an RBI single with two outs before Ryan Hanigan struck out.
Springer long home run was his 13th of the season. It came in the third inning after the first of Jose Altuve’s three hits.
Jonathan Villar added a solo homer for the Astros in the ninth off reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo.
Altuve leads the majors with 101 hits. The Houston second baseman is 11 for 18 in four games since returning from a hand injury.
Brandon Guyer and Jose Molina each had two of Tampa Bay’s eight hits, all singles.
“The guys are working,” Maddon said. “The effort is there. The performance is not. We’ve got keep pushing until it comes back to us.”
NOTES: Price leads AL pitchers in innings (115 2-3) and strikeouts (133), along with hits (116) and home runs (16) allowed. ... With the signing of LHP Brock Burke, the Rays announced they have signed all 11 of their picks in the first 10 rounds of the draft. ... Houston RHP Brad Peacock, recovering from a case of food poisoning Monday night, was scratched from his scheduled start Saturday. ... The Astros purchased the contract of RHP Jake Buchanan from Triple-A Oklahoma City to make his big league debut Saturday against Tampa Bay RHP Jake Odorizzi (2-7).