Price sets career and franchise records with 14 strikeouts

Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 7:56pm
Staff reports

David Price set a franchise record with 14 strikeouts in the Tampa Bay Rays’ 12-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.

That tied him with Detroit’s Justin Verlander and New York’s C.C. Sabathia for the most by an American League pitcher this season.

"David had a really good fastball early on in that game and because of that, everything else was working off of it," Rays manager Joe Maddon said, according to the Associated Press. "From where I was standing, they really had a hard time catching up to the velocity early. And then he started mixing in the other stuff with good command.

"That's why he did what he did [Sunday] — because he was really, really good."

The former Vanderbilt All-American struck out the first seven batters he faced and recorded two-thirds of his outs in that fashion. He threw 111 pitches in seven innings before he was pulled. He struck out at least one in all but the sixth.

Price allowed just three hits — all singles — and two walks and said he was aided by a stiff breeze blowing in from center field at Rogers Center in Toronto.

"I've never had that much movement before, so it was pretty cool," he said. "The wind kept blowing and it was making my eyes watery all game. I knew it was blowing pretty good and I just kept throwing it."

The previous Tampa record was 13 by Scott Kazmir in 2007 and James Shields earlier this season.

Price never had struck out more than 12 in a Major League game. He had that many by the end of the fifth inning on Sunday.

With this victory, he lifted his record to 12-11 on the season. His career record against Toronto improved to 9-1.

"Hitting is hard enough already," catcher John Jaso said. "What David brought [Sunday] made it pretty much impossible."