David Price

David Price strikes out franchise-high 14 batters for Rays

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David Price fanned 14 batters in seven innings and combined with two relievers on a shutout as the Rays beat the Blue Jays 12-0 on Sunday.

Price topped the Rays record of 13 strikeouts in a game, set by Scott Kazmir and later matched by James Shields.  The pitching staff as a whole fanned 18 batters today, also a franchise record.

The 14 strikeouts were tied for the third most by any pitcher this year.  Here’s that list:

1. Cliff Lee: 16 vs. Braves on May 6
2. Jered Weaver: 15 vs. Blue Jays on April 10
3. Roy Halladay: 14 vs. Padres on April 23
3. Tommy Hanson: 14 vs. Astros on June 12
3. Justin Verlander: 14 vs. Diamondbacks on June 25
3. CC Sabathia: 14 vs. Mariners on July 26
3. Roy Halladay: 14 vs. Diamondbacks on Aug. 16
3. David Price: 14 vs. Blue Jays on Aug. 28

Today’s game was also big for Desmond Jennings, who homered in his first two at-bats on his way to a 4-for-5 day.  He has eight homers and 14 steals in just 34 games since being called up.  To put that in perspective, he’d be on pace for 35 homers and 62 steals in 150 games.

The Blue Jays, meanwhile, were complete humiliated, as Brandon Morrow gave up three homers for the second time this season.  Mike McCoy was the only player in their lineup not to strike out.  Kelly Johnson whiffed four times, and Jose Bautista and Jose Molina fanned three times apiece.

Report: Mariners have interest in Reds’ Jay Bruce

ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 14:  Jay Bruce #32 of the Cincinnati Reds waits to bat prior to hitting a three-run homer in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on June 14, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.

Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.

Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.

The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, tying an NL record

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 16:  Adam Rosales #9 of the San Diego Padres hits an RBI single during the tenth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants at PETCO Park on July 16, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.

The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.

As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.