St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - David Price struck out a season-high 12 batters en route to his ninth career complete game as the Tampa Bay Rays took a 7-3 win over the Minnesota Twins in the opener of a three-game set.
Price (3-1), who allowed three runs on a pair of fourth-inning homers, scattered six hits and walked just one to earn the win. He finished two strikeouts shy of tying his career-high of 14. The southpaw fanned 14 against Toronto Aug. 28, 2011.
"Velocity was good, strike throwing was good and it seemed like every thing was right," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. "He just made a couple of mistake. Otherwise, he was pretty much on top of his game."
David DeJesus went 3-for-4 with three RBI, Matt Joyce and James Loney both finished with two hits and two RBI and Ben Zobrist was 2-for-4 with two runs scored for the Rays, who have taken seven straight at home against the Twins.
Chris Colabello hit a two-run homer and Brian Dozier added a solo shot for the Twins, who have dropped three of their last four.
Kyle Gibson (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season after he was knocked around for seven runs on 10 hits over three-plus innings.
"(Gibson) was just missing as they say," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "You know some pretty close pitches that didn't go our way. He was just around the plate and just off the plate just enough that got him into trouble."
The Rays put up three runs in the first inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Loney singled to center to score Zobrist and Joyce. After Wil Myers walked, DeJesus cracked a single to right to push Longoria across.
Tampa Bay added a pair of runs in the third. With runners on second and third and one out, DeJesus laced a single to right to bring Evan Longoria and Loney around.
Minnesota finally got on the board thanks to a pair of fourth-inning home runs. Dozier smacked a leadoff shot to left for his sixth homer of the season. Joe Mauer singled and after Trevor Plouffe struck out, Colabello launched a two-run shot deep into the stands in left to pull the Twins within two runs.
The Rays answered with two runs in the home half. Zobrist and Desmond Jennings hit back-to-back singles to chase Gibson from the game. Joyce welcomed reliever Samuel Deduno with a double to center to clear the bases for a 7-3 lead.
Price has struck out at least 10 batter 16 times in his career ... Earlier on Tuesday, the Rays reinstated reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo from the 15-day disable list ... The Rays were 5-for-15 with runners in scoring position ... The Twins did not have a runner in scoring position all game.