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.

Josh Donaldson is still seeking a long-term deal with the Blue Jays

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If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.

“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.

Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.