(Sports Network) - Thursday's finale between the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa
Bay Rays features the first matchup between reigning Cy Young Award winners
You wouldn't know that was the case, though, by looking at their 2013 stats.
Either way, David Price tries to help the Tampa Bay Rays earn a split in the
finale of their four-game series against R.A. Dickey and the Toronto Blue Jays
at Tropicana Field.
"I don't know what his record is or anything like that, but I know he can
pitch better than how he's been pitching and so can I," Price said. "We're
both going out there looking to get the ball rolling again and it should be
Price has been miserable for the Rays in the early going following his
spectacular 20-win campaign in 2011. Price fell to 1-3 on Saturday in
Colorado, as he was roughed up for a career-high nine runs and 11 hits in just
6 2/3 innings to balloon his ERA to 6.25.
"I felt fine," Price said. "I just have to make better pitches, especially in
those big spots. That's not what I'm doing right now. It's frustrating."
Price, though, could get himself righted on Thursday, as he owns a terrific
12-2 lifetime mark against the Jays with a 2.29 ERA in 15 starts.
Dickey, meanwhile, has been equally bad in his first year in Toronto. Dickey
won the NL Cy Young Award last season after his remarkable 20-win season for
the New York Mets, but this year he is just 2-5 with a 5.36 ERA.
"Neither one of us are probably where we want to be at this part of the year,"
Dickey said. "I think he would say the same thing, but it's special anytime
the reigning Cy Young Award winners face each other."
Dickey lost his third straight start on Saturday, as the Seattle Mariners
hammered him for seven runs and six hits in just six innings before being
booed off the mound.
"I did hear them, it was hard not to," said Dickey. "They were pretty
animated. You can't blame them."
Thursday's matchup between the reigning Cy Young winners is the first since
Atlanta's Tom Glavine faced Roger Clemens of the New York Yankees on July 15,
1999. The only other such occurrence was Aug. 28, 1989, when Frank Viola of
the New York Mets opposed Orel Hershiser of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After losing the first two games of this set, Tampa broke through on
Wednesday, as Evan Longoria homered and drove in three runs and Kelly Johnson
went 3-for-4 with a two-run blast in a 10-4 win.
Matt Moore (6-0) didn't have his best stuff, allowing two runs on six hits and
four walks over five innings, but it was enough to stay undefeated as the Rays
backed him with 13 hits.
Luke Scott and James Loney each added a pair of RBI, while Ben Zobrist reached
base four times, scored three runs and knocked in another for the victors.
"It's been kind of difficult lately," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "The two
losses in Kansas City were not fun, even the loss in Denver was not fun, and
the two losses here. None of them have been fun. I believe we came to play
every day after those tough losses. I don't think we mailed anything in after
those tough losses, and that's what I really appreciate about this group."
Toronto had its three-game win streak stopped, but the club received good news
earlier Wednesday when it was announced J.A. Happ was "doing well" after being
released from the hospital. Happ was carried off the field on a stretcher
Tuesday when he was struck by a line drive and sustained a head contusion.
The Blue Jays actually jumped out to an early lead on Edwin Encarnacion's two-
run homer to straightaway center in the first, but the embattled Ricky Romero
(0-2) recorded just one out in the bottom half before getting the quick hook.
"I'm a competitor, I work hard and I put so much effort, so much work into
everything that I've done and I don't see it as a step back, but obviously the
statistics don't show that. But you hold your head high and continue to work,"
Tampa dominated its season series with the Jays a year ago, taking 14 of the
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