Twins have no answer for Price in loss to Tampa Bay

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 20, 2014 - 12:20 AM

The Rays lefthander, on the trading block, blanked the Twins for eight innings.

Available for trade: One All-Star pitcher, lefthanded, Cy Young Award winner, hasn’t given up a run in 16 innings, or more than three in the past two months. Contact the Minnesota Twins for references.

David Price, reportedly being shopped around by the Rays as the trade deadline approaches, crushed the Twins’ back-in-the-race ambitions Saturday, ruthlessly limiting them to four hits over eight scoreless innings as Tampa Bay cruised to a 5-1 victory at Target Field.

“When he can throw most of his pitches for strikes, mix in-and-out, get ahead of guys like he did today, he’s tough,” said Trevor Plouffe, whose first-inning double made him one of only two Twins to reach second base while Price was in. “He’s one of the best pitchers in the game.”

The Twins pointed to this 10-game homestand as their chance to take a stand against another lost summer, but Tampa Bay’s pitching is making that stand look more like a cross-your-fingers fantasy. The Twins went 11 consecutive innings without touching third base, something that the Rays allowed only once Price was watching from the dugout.

Phil Hughes, meanwhile, gave up 11 hits and five runs over seven innings in his second-half debut, absorbing the loss as the last-place Twins fell behind two more teams, Boston and these Rays, in an increasingly futile wild-card chase. They are 10 games out of the division race and 7½ games behind the last playoff team, and they have seven teams to climb over to get there.

“It’s a little disappointing, but there’s a lot of season left, a lot of games at home,” Hughes said gamely. “It starts tomorrow.”

Well, at least Price doesn’t. The All-Star, about to get too expensive for the small-budget Rays, has won five consecutive games amid where’s-he-headed hysteria, and he was in utter control against the Twins, striking out nine — including rookie Danny Santana four times.

“Price was unbelievable. He had great stuff,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Say, wouldn’t he like to manage such a dominating lefthander once more?

“You should walk right up to [General Manager Terry Ryan’s] office and tell him that,” Gardenhire said, laughing at the notion. “He’s available for a steep price.”

True. It would take one of the Twins’ very best prospects just to pry him away from the Rays — think Buxton, Sano, Meyer or Stewart — then about $18 million to cover next season, followed by a commitment of, oh, about $175 million or so to keep him from becoming a free agent 15 months from now.

Sounds like a good idea to Plouffe. “I don’t think any team would pass on him,” he said, though that’s coming from someone who doesn’t sign the checks.

OK, maybe it’s a fantasy for the modest-budget Twins, just like their charge to the AL Central crown is turning out to be. Just as their chances of beating Price (10-7) on a night when Hughes (10-6) didn’t have his best stuff turned out to be.

The Twins turned five double plays, four of them to support Hughes — “I don’t think I had four double plays all last year,” said the notorious fly-ball pitcher. But when he gave up four hits in the second inning, including Sean Rodriguez’s two-run homer that gave the Rays a 3-0 lead, it felt more like 30-0.

“You’ve got to try and match him as best you can,” Hughes said, “and after that home run … your heart sinks.”

Twins fans know the feeling.

  • related content

  • Photo gallery: Tampa Bay 5, Twins 1

    Saturday July 19, 2014

    David Price was dominant picking up his 10th victory for the Rays, striking out nine Twins batters in eight...

  • BOXSCORE: Tampa Bay 5, Twins 1

    Saturday July 19, 2014

  • Souhan: More Latin American baseball talent? Bring 'em on

    Sunday July 20, 2014

    A dazzling All-Star week showed off baseball’s wealth of Latin talent.

  • Scoggins: Twins' Nolasco is the nowhere man right now

    Saturday July 19, 2014

    An elbow injury has made it difficult for him to pitch, and also to feel that he is a part of...

  • Injured Mauer takes small steps towards returning to Twins

    Sunday July 20, 2014

    Joe Mauer’s light workout Saturday was an excellent sign the Twins' first baseman is on track in his rehab from an oblique strain.

  • Postgame: Dozier was planning to throw home

    Saturday July 19, 2014

    Defense and bullpen have been strong, but it doesn't mean much if offense continues to slumber

  • Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price throws against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 19, 2014, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

  • Phil Hughes threw well early vs. the Rays Saturday night, but the Twins trailed 3-0 in the sixth inning at deadline of this edition.

  • Brian Dozier retired Brandon Guyer at second and turned the first of five double plays, but it did the Twins little good Saturday night.

  • TAMPA BAY 5, Twins 1

    Up next: 1:10 p.m. today vs. Tampa Bay • Target Field • TV: FSN (96.3-FM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 4 FINAL
Oakland 9
Cleveland 0 FINAL
Cincinnati 10
Boston College 0 FINAL
Boston 1
Arizona State 0 Bottom 7th Inning
Arizona 2
Boston 16 1st Qtr 1:51
Cleveland 23
LA Lakers 26 1st Qtr 2:04
Charlotte 24
Sacramento 18 1st Qtr 5:34
New York 10
Houston 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Utah 7:00 PM
Memphis
Washington 7:00 PM
Chicago
Milwaukee 8:00 PM
Denver
Nashville 0 1st Prd 7:45
New Jersey 2
Calgary 1 1st Prd 7:56
Philadelphia 0
Washington 1 1st Prd 6:06
Columbus 0
Buffalo 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Toronto 6:30 PM
Florida
Ottawa 7:00 PM
Minnesota
NY Islanders 7:30 PM
Dallas
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Arizona
Los Angeles 8:30 PM
Edmonton
San Jose 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Ole Miss 16 1st Half 8:13
Alabama 19
Eastern Mich 18 1st Half 10:37
Ball State 12
Kent State 15 1st Half 11:06
Bowling Green 17
Ohio 18 1st Half 7:32
Buffalo 25
Georgetown 13 1st Half 7:49
Butler 17
Toledo 22 1st Half 7:50
Central Mich 17
Rhode Island 20 1st Half 10:16
Dayton 18
Youngstown St 19 1st Half 9:10
Detroit 19
North Carolina 27 1st Half 7:16
Georgia Tech 11
Loyola-Maryland 4 1st Half 16:42
Holy Cross 9
Iowa 13 1st Half 10:44
Indiana 17
Akron 11 1st Half 10:35
Miami-Ohio 9
Army 17 1st Half 9:26
Navy 15
Maryland 21 1st Half 7:24
Rutgers 20
Kennesaw St 8 1st Half 11:43
USC Upstate 19
Jacksonville 19 1st Half 10:00
Fla Gulf Coast 21
Lipscomb 13 1st Half 9:34
Northern Ky 11
Stetson 6:30 PM
North Florida
Wright State 7:00 PM
Ill-Chicago
Western Mich 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Nebraska Omaha 7:00 PM
North Dakota
Houston Baptist 7:00 PM
Abilene Christian
NC State 8:00 PM
Clemson
Texas A&M 8:00 PM
Florida
Kentucky 8:00 PM
Georgia
West Virginia 8:00 PM
Kansas
Auburn 8:00 PM
Missouri
Michigan 8:00 PM
Northwestern
Villanova 8:15 PM
Creighton
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 39 FINAL
Presbyterian 47
Coastal Carolina 44 2nd Half 6:10
UNC-Asheville 52
NJIT 8 1st Half 9:50
UMass Lowell 11
West Virginia 7:00 PM
Kansas State
TCU 7:00 PM
Texas
Fresno State 8:00 PM
Air Force
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Boise State
Nevada 8:00 PM
Colorado State
UNLV 8:00 PM
San Diego State
Wyoming 8:00 PM
Utah State

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Wild finish out the season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close