Game 95: Late Rally Comes Up Short As Rays Fall 2-1

By David Hill

Since returning from the disabled list, David Price has been back to the pitcher he had been over the past three seasons, working quickly and throwing strikes. Facing the Houston Astros for the second time in two weeks, and after dominating them in his return from the DL, Price was looking to keep the momentum going.

Price continued his modus operandi, as he threw strikes and worked quickly once again. However, this time, the Astros were ready for him. Swinging early in the count, they loaded the bases with one out, bringing up Carlos Corporan. Corporan grounded a base hit up the middle, plating two runs as the Astros took a quick 2-0 lead.

Pitching for the Astros was Jarred Cosart, making his major league debut. If he was nervous during the start, he certainly did not show it whatsoever, setting the Rays down in order over the first three innings. Meanwhile, Price had settled in as well, and was firing strikes at an amazing rate, with 19 consecutive pitches for strikes at one point.

Tampa finally got a baserunner against Cosart in the fourth, as Desmond Jennings walked to lead off the inning. Cosart just continued to go about his business, retiring the Rays and preserving the no-hitter. Wil Myers drew a walk in the fifth and was erased on a double play, and it appeared as though Cosart may be on his way to joining the immortal Bumpus Jones in 1982 as the only pitchers to fire a no hitter in their debut.

Cosart’s quest for immortality ended in the seventh. With one out, Ben Zobrist grounded a single under the diving Jose Altuve to give the Rays their first base hit. However, Cosart got Longoria to ground into a double play to end the inning. The same situation happened in the eighth, as Loney singled to lead off the inning, and Cosart got Wil Myers to ground into another double play.

After a walk to start the ninth, Cosart was lifted for closer Jose Veras, who induced yet another double play. However, that was where things got interesting. Jennings grounded to short for what appeared to be the third out, but shortstop Jake Elmore made a low throw to first, giving the Rays some life. Jennings took second on defensive indifference, and, after a long battle, Luke Scott extended his hitting streak by lining a soft single to center, plating Jennings as the Rays cut the lead to 2-1. Zobrist followed with a base hit to center, moving pinch runner Sam Fuld to third and bringing up Evan Longoria. Unfortunately, Longoria struck out, ending the game as the Astros snapped the Rays eight game winning streak.

Price was excellent in the loss, pitching his second consecutive complete game. he gave up the two runs on eight hits, striking out three as he 70 of his 87 pitches for strikes. Zobrist was 2-4 in the loss.