As a Tampa Bay Ray, David Price threw a complete game in a losing effort on two different occasions. And even with the mighty Detroit Tigers offense behind him, his former team handed him the third such loss in his career.
In his return to Tropicana Field Thursday afternoon, Price spun a complete game, one-hit effort in a 1-0 loss to the Rays.
The only hit Price allowed came in the first inning when Brandon Guyer tripled to drive in Ben Zobrist. The run was unearned because Zobrist reached on an error on the at-bat prior to the triple. That would be the last Ray to do as much as reach base against the dominant Price.
The lefty, who was sent to Detroit in a three-team deal in the last couple hours of the trade deadline, set down the next 23 batters he faced. He didn't allow a hit, walk, or even another batter to reach on an error. And Price struck out nine over the eight innings. His complete game only lasted eight frames because Tampa Bay preserved that one-run lead the entire way from there.
Alex Cobb, who has been about as as good as just about any starting pitcher in baseball (save maybe Clayton Kershaw) since late-June, gave up just two hits in seven innings. He lowered his ERA to 3.01 and added six strikeouts to just two walks. Brad Boxberger and Jake McGee each threw a shutout inning following Cobb's strong performance to slam the door on Detroit.
What tonight's action means
The outing for Price makes three of four where he has thrown at least eight innings for his new team. But Detroit is just 2-2 in those games and he is just 1-1. He also becomes the first pitcher since 1995 to throw a one-hitter where the only hit allowed was a triple. The late Frank Castillo was the last to accomplish such a rare feat in a winning effort.
The Tigers had their chances, but finished the afternoon 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. The loss drops Detroit to 1.5 games behind Kansas City in the race for the NL Central crown. The Royals will be in action later tonight against the Rockies.
The Tigers still leave Tampa Bay with a 2-1 series win, but must reenergize the offense in the midst of a tight playoff race. Detroit gets back on the field tomorrow to begin a four-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.