(Sports Network) – There doesn’t figure to be the same amount of fanfare tonight as there was the last time David Price faced the New York Yankees when the Tampa Bay Rays continue a four-game set against their American League East rivals at Tropicana Field.
Price, who is 3-1 lifetime versus the Yankees, became the answer to a trivia question Yankees fans will ask for years on July 9 when he served up Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit. He allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings that day, but did not factor in the decision of his team’s 5-4 loss.
After skipping the All-Star Game, the 25-year-old lefty picked up a win in his first start out of the break against Boston, yielding three runs and five hits – three home runs – in six innings to run his record to 9-7 on the year to go along with a 3.73 earned run average. He also struck out seven and walked a batter.
“Solo home runs don’t beat you,” Price said. “Luckily, our offense had a ton of runs. It’s big for us.”
Price has completed at least six innings in eight of his last 10 starts, and he’s gone 20 outings in a row without registering more walks than strikeouts.
After a heartbreaking loss in Monday’s opener, the Rays turned the tables and rallied for a win on Tuesday, as Jeremy Hellickson threw seven strong innings and Tampa Bay took advantage of a couple of defensive miscues by the Yankees in the seventh inning to eke out a 3-2 win.
Hellickson (9-7) allowed two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out seven as the Rays snapped their three-game losing streak.
“I wasn’t very effective there the first few innings, threw a lot of pitches,” Hellickson said. “I ended up really good.”
Joel Peralta pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn his first save of the year.
Bartolo Colon (6-6) went 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs — two earned — on five hits and two walks. He also struck out a season-high nine batters as New York saw its three-game win streak come to an end.
Tonight, the Yankees turn to righty Freddy Garcia, who was awful in his first start after the break. Garcia absorbed the loss in Toronto on Friday, surrendering six runs (five earned) and seven hits in five innings. He also walked four batters and fell to 7-7 on the year with a 3.43 ERA.
Garcia has had success against the Rays over the course of his career, posting an 8-2 mark with a 3.56 ERA in 15 starts.
The Yankees have won four of seven against Tampa Bay this season.