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.

Moises Alou pledges to help Cubs give “closure” to Steve Bartman

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 7:  Moises Alou #18 of the Chicago Cubs hits a two-run home run in the first inning against thye Florida Marlins during game one of the National League Championship Series October 7, 2003 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
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After the Cubs won the World Series last month — their first since 1908 — owner Tom Ricketts said he plans to reach out to Steve Bartman to provide “closure.”

Bartman was the fan who interfered with left fielder Moises Alou’s attempt to catch a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS against the Marlins. Alou was particularly irate about Bartman’s presence and it led to the fan becoming persona non grata in Chicago. In the time since, even before the Cubs won the World Series, the club has tried to make amends but Bartman has rejected offers to speak publicly and he has also rejected invitations to Wrigley Field.

Alou pledged to make time to attend any ceremony the Cubs stage for Bartman, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago-Sun Times reports.

Alou said, “Why not? I’d like to meet Bartman.” He continued, “I have nothing against the guy. I said it right after the game. I had the ball, and I got upset, but at the same time it’s not that kid’s fault. Everybody goes to the ballpark, and they bring a glove. Every wants to catch a fly ball.” However, He still maintains that he would have caught the ball if he had not been impeded.

Diamondbacks sign Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million deal

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 14:  Jeff Mathis #6 of the Miami Marlins hits a grand slam during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on June 14, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.

Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.

The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.