Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Rays 5, Angels 0: Of Price, Peña and Pujols
Posted Apr 24, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated Apr 24, 2012 at 11:59 PM
ST. PETERSBURG The Rays extended their winning streak to three with Tuesday’s 5-0 victory against the visiting Angels at the Trop, matching their longest winning streak of the year.
David Price pitched the third complete game of his career and second complete game shutout when he allowed five singles over nine innings. Though he pitched eight innings or more nine times in 2011, Price was the only Rays starter without a complete game.
The Rays matched their season-high with four home runs, including a sixth inning shot from Carlos Peña for the 1,000th hit of his career.
Here are some odds and ends from the win …
Price averaged 19.7 pitches per inning and 16.20 base runners per nine innings in his first three starts. On Tuesday, he averaged 13.2 pitches per innings and only six base runners over nine innings.
His 119 pitches were the second-most of his career. He threw 121 against Boston last July 15.
Of those 119 pitches, 49 were off-speed pitches, and of those 49, 37 were for strikes.
Desmond Jennings hit the Rays first leadoff home run of the season and the second of his career. Add his two-run homer Sunday and the left fielder has homered in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.
Jennings has hit safely in eight of his last nine games and is batting .316 over that stretch.
Luke Scott hit his first home run at the Trop as a Ray and his fourth of the season. He has a career-best15 RBI in 13 games this month. His previous career-high was 11 in 2009.
B.J. Upton hit his first home run of the season and drove in another run with a sacrifice fly. He has two RBIs in each of his last three games.
The Rays pitchers have not allowed a homer in 52 innings. The club record is 59 2/3 innings.
Angels 1B Albert Pujols remains homerless this season, a streak that has reached 98 at-bats dating back to last season. The longest drought of his career is 105 at-bats from April 24 to May 22 of last season. His 69 homer less at-bats this season is the longest homerless stretch to start a season of his career.
He’s also hitless in his last 16 at-bats.
The Rays have won five of their last six. They have won 11 of their last 12 and 18 of the last 21 games played at the Trop. They are 6-1 at home to start the season for the first time in club history.
The Rays pitchers have an ERA of 2.15 over their last eight games. That has lowered the team ERA from 6.75 to 4.53.