Tim Hudson doesn't seem to be a vitcim of Father Time, as he pitched 7.2 innings of shutout baseball, allowing only 4 hits and two walks in only 99 pitches, stifling the Rays' hitters. Despite matching him pitch-for-pitch through the first three innings, David Price gave up a solo shot to Brave's catcher David Ross, and another [unearned] run off a single by Jason Heyward. Price still had a quality outing, as those two runs (one earned) were all he gave up in his 7 innings of work, adding 7 strikeouts to his season total; his ERA is now under 3 (2.88 to be more specific). The only Rays hitter that seemed to be able to figure Hudson out was BJ Upton, who supplied the team with 2 of its 5 total hits. The bullpen did its job to prevent any further runs from coming across the plate, but, as stated after last night's game, starting pitching is a decisive factor in the Rays' overall success. Unfortunately for Price, he got absolutely no run support, so I doubt he will hang his head on loss number 3 of the season [for him].
With this loss, the Rays (obviously) lost their first Interleague Series of the still-young season, but needed a win yesterday to gain the extremely surprising Baltimore Orioles, who are first in the AL East by two games. Baltimore lost yesterday, and Cincinatti just beat the Yankees (5-2), while Boston won in Philadelphia; so a victory tonight would've helped add some distance between the Rays and the Yankees and Red Sox. The Rays are currently two games behind the O's, 2.5 ahead of the Yanks, and 4.5 ahead of the Sox.
That aside, Price did as much as he could to keep the Rays' offense in the game, but their bats were silent; a very different story from last night's game. If the Rays want to stay in contention within the division—and in the playoff race when September comes along—their hitting needs to come alive like it was a couple weeks ago, when the Rays won 13 out of 14 games played. Injuries are obviously a huge reason for the lack of run support lately.
While the idea really hasn't surfaced yet, it wouldn't be too far-fetched to think that the Rays might trade one of their pitching prospects (everyone knows we have enough of them) for a solid, dependable bat to bolster the offense.
Notables from this afternoon's game:
D. Price(TAM): 7 IP, 6 H, ER, 3 BB, 7 K
B. Upton(TAM): 2-4
T. Hudson(ATL): 7.2 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 K
D. Ross(ATL): 1-4, HR, R, RBI
Rays news and notes:
- The Rays start their 3 game series against the Toronto Blue Jays tomorrow night at 7:10pm, as Jeremy Hellickson (4-0, 2.77 ERA) looks to remain perfect on the season, sqauring off against Kyle Drabek (3-4, 3.30 ERA).
- Catcher Jose Molina left the game in the sixth for precautionary reasons, after taking a foul ball to the mask. Seems to be okay.
- Another injury— Jeff Keppinger did not play yesterday because of a right foot injury, which likely was from when he fouled off his foot on Saturday. He was in a walking boot Sunday morning; still no update at all on his status.
- Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times puts together a calendar of all the Rays' injuries this season, even including one of Joe Maddon.