Ricky Romero, similar to some Rays starters, has a very low ERA (2.98 after tonight) but his record stands at a pedestrian nine wins and nine losses. The Rays saw tonight saw why Romero has a bright future in big leagues. They had him on the ropes very early on. In the second inning, his wildness got the better of him. He walked two and in between hit Casey Kotchman to load the bases with no out. Apparently he had the right hitters coming up as he struck out Matt Joyce and Kelly Shoppach. Then he induced a ground out from Sean Rodriguez. The Rays let him off the hook and Romero settled in big time.
David Price also settled in nicely after a slightly rocky first inning. He had that mean look on his face tonight that tells hitters they will have no chance against him. For the most part, it was true. After Price went through the lineup the first time, he faced American League home run leader Jose Bautista. Bautista hadn’t homered in 14 straight games, but he got a pitch up and out over the plate and launched it over the left field wall. Yunel Escobar followed with a homer of his own in the sixth to give the Jays a 2-0 lead.
Romero, despite the bases loaded jam in the second, was throwing a no-hitter into the sixth. Desmond Jennings changed that with an opposite field solo homer. That was the Rays only hit off of Romero through eight innings. Rays hitters going down meekly and quickly. He three 33 pitches in that second inning, but only 109 for the game.
It wasn’t until two out in the ninth that the bats started to wake up. Jon Rauch was in to close out the game but gave up singles to Kotchman and B.J. Upton. Joyce was in a favorable position to end the game either way. Rauch fell behind him 3-0. Joe Maddon decided to let him swing away and Joyce popped it up, ending the game in the loss column.
Another start at Tropicana Field for Price and another very tough loss. He’s now 4-6 at home with a respectable 3.35 ERA.
Player of the Game: Ricky Romero