The last time the Rays played in Minnesota it was snowing. In late April, the Rays played three games over two days and outscored the Twins 29-6. Ben Zobrist had a fantastic double-header as he drove in ten runs.
No such luck today as the Rays lost a very strange game. Maybe part of the problem was that Zobrist was given a day off.
The Rays had Brian Duensing on ropes early. They had the bases-loaded and one out in the first when Justin Ruggiano grounded into a double play to end the threat. In the fourth, the Rays got two singles and Ruggiano pinned Michael Cuddyer up against the right field fence and still couldn’t score.
David Price ended up giving up four runs over six innings, but he didn’t actually pitch all that badly. He gave up a bases loaded double to Tsuyoshi Nishioka in the second and then a homer to Cuddyer in the third. The Twins added three garbage runs in the eighth on a three run homer by Valencia.
As the game went out Duensing kept getting stronger and stronger and it became clear that the Rays missed their chance. He went through the heart of the Rays order in the eighth, striking out the side and then retired the side in order in the ninth to finish off the shutout. But, who actually pitched better? Price only allowed six baserunners, while Duensing allowed 10 (six hits, four walks). Of course, the key was that Duensing did not allow an extra base hit and was bailed out by two double plays, while Price allowed a big double and a homer. Other than one bad inning, he didn’t allow much. Either way, it’s one of the strangest shutouts you’ll see and I’m still not convinced that Duensing pitched well.
Player of the Game: Danny Valencia–3 for 4, homer and 3 RBI
W: Brian Duensing (6-7) 4.25 ERA
L: David Price (8-7) 3.56 ERA