St. Petersburg, FL – David Price tossed eight stellar innings of one-run ball as the Rays continued their home dominance with a 7-2 victory over the Athletics in the opener of a three-game series at Tropicana Field.
Price (5-1) fanned a season-high 12 batters while allowing just three hits and one walk as the Rays won their 10th straight home game and improved to 13-1 at the Trop this season.
"Just making pitches whenever you have a chance to shut an inning down, especially when you have runners in scoring position," said Price on his success Friday.
B.J. Upton smacked two RBI doubles and scored twice, Luke Scott also knocked in two and Jose Molina added a two-run homer for Tampa Bay. which has won six straight overall.
Tyson Ross (1-2) was touched for all seven runs on nine hits in just 3 1/3 innings to take the loss. Cliff Pennington belted a solo blast in the ninth and Kurt Suzuki knocked in the only other run with a double in the second as Oakland saw its brief two-game win streak come to an end.
"I didn't think his command within the strikezone was good today," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said of Ross' outing.
Oakland struck first in the top of the second as Jonny Gomes slapped a one-out double down the right-field line before scoring two batters later on Suzuki's double into the left-field corner for the early 1-0 lead.
The Rays pulled ahead for good in the third when Sean Rodriguez smacked a leadoff double, and after a Desmond Jennings groundout moved him to third, Upton scored him with a double of his own to knot the game at 1-1.
After Carlos Pena fanned for the second out, a walk to Matt Joyce followed by a balk from Ross put runners on second and third before Scott singled into right field, scoring Upton and Joyce for a 3-1 edge.
Tampa Bay tacked on four in the fourth as Will Rhymes singled and Molina belted his first home run of the year into the left-field seats.
Upton pressed the lead to 6-1 with his second RBI double of the game shortly after and Joyce plated him with a single into left field to chase Ross from the game and make it a six-run difference.
Pennington's solo blast in the ninth accounted for the final margin.
Price improved to 3-0 in home starts this season...Oakland dropped to 3-4 on its current nine-game road trip...The Rays had lost nine of their last 13 games against Oakland...Saturday's matchup features two righties as Jeremy Hellickson toes the rubber for Tampa Bay against Bartolo Colon for the A's.