Although his final line of nine innings pitched and three earned runs doesn’t scream a dominant performance, David Price struck out 12 batters and walked just one on his way to his third win of the season. Price surrendered three runs in the fourth inning — all of which were all scored off home runs — but his other eight innings were pure dominance as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Minnesota Twins 7-3.
Price is now 3-1 with a 4.04 ERA this season, and although those stats don’t show he’s still on top of his game, the sixth year pro dominated Twins hitters all night and recorded his fair share of called strike threes. While striking out 12 batters in itself is a tremendous accomplishment, Price’s performance was even more impressive when you throw in the fact he walked only one guy, and threw just 116 pitches despite numerous 3-2 counts throughout the game.
Coming into the Tuesday night matchup, the Twins ranked fourth in the majors in runs scored — in large part to their league leading on-base percentage — but Price’s consistent command kept Twins runners off the base paths, and for the most part, off the scoreboard.
Price was coming off his worst outing of the year — five innings pitched and six runs against the New York Yankees — but it was evident against the Twins that his stuff can be downright unhittable at times. Tuesday night was just the 16th time in Price’s career he’s recorded a double-digit strikeout performance, but so far this season he’s already reached that feat twice, and finally appears to be hitting his stride.
The Rays are once again contending for the AL East title and a World Series Championship, but Price is owed $14 million this season and has one more year of arbitration before hitting the free agent market. This means the price-sensitive Rays will have to make a decision soon on whether to extend the Cy Young candidate, or deal him for prospects like they’ve done in the past with Matt Garza and James Shields.
While it’s unclear where Price will finish the season, he’s currently helping the Rays in their quest to win 90 games for the fifth straight season, and will continue to dominate in the process.
While he’s still with the team, Price will remain taking the mound every fifth day, so click here to get your tickets to Tampa Bay Rays games and watch him pitch all season long.