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.
With Game 6 of the NLCS just hours away, the Dodgers will opt for a lefty-heavy lineup against right-hander Kyle Hendricks. Batting leadoff is rookie outfielder Andrew Toles, who made one appearance at the top of the lineup during the 2016 season. The Cubs, meanwhile, will bench Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.. This will be Almora’s first start of the playoffs, and while he has yet to face Kershaw in October, his right-handed bat could play well against the lefty at the bottom of the lineup.
Game time is scheduled for 8 PM EDT; lineups are below.
1. Andrew Toles (L) LF
6. Wilson Contreras (R) C
8. Albert Almora Jr. (R) RF
9. Kyle Hendricks (R) RHP
UPDATE, 5:08 PM EDT: Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon will not rule out a World Series appearance for Kyle Schwarber if the Cubs advance. MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports that Schwarber could play through a simulated game on Sunday, during which the Cubs’ medical and baseball staff would evaluate his chances for a late season return. If he does play, it will likely be in a pinch-hitting or DH role and not on the field.
Cubs’ outfielder Kyle Schwarber will return to the playing field on Saturday, per a report by the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales. The club’s prized left fielder suffered a season-ending injury when he collided with Dexter Fowler back in April, tearing both his ACL and LCL and undergoing intensive knee surgery later that month.
While no nerve damage was discovered during the surgery, the Cubs have kept a close eye on Schwarber during his recovery and put a kibosh on any part-time or full-time role with the team until the spring of 2017. Getting a few reps in during the Arizona Fall League appears to be the last step in the 23-year-old’s rehab process. He will be part of the Mesa Solar Sox’ ‘taxi squad,’ making him eligible for games on Wednesdays and Saturdays only.
Schwarber batted .246/.355/.487 with 16 in 69 games with the Cubs during his debut season in 2015. He will be added to the Mesa Solar Sox roster in advance of their set against the Salt River Rafters on Saturday evening.