With David Price on the mound it didn’t look good for the Detroit Tigers. After all, they had never beaten the Tampa lefty and had scored just five runs in five games against him.
Well, all that changed on Tuesday.
Runs were at a premium again, but they were enough as Brad Penny pitched 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball to help the Tigers beat Price and the Rays, 2-1.
Penny (9-9) gave up eight hits and struck out just two, but only allowed Ben Zobrist’s run-scoring double in the third inning to make it to the scoreboard. Phil Coke pitched the eighth and ninth innings to get the save, striking out five and get out of a two-on, two-out jam in the final frame.
Price (11-11) entered the game with a 3-0 record against Detroit and a 2.11 ERA. He had Tigers hitters batting .222 against him.
But Detroit got all the runs they’d need in the seventh on Alex Avila’s RBI double that tied the game and Jhonny Peralta’s sacrifice fly that scored the winning run.
Price was pretty effective despite the loss, pitching eight innings, giving up six hits and striking out six.
Detroit (70-58) moved six games ahead of second-place Chicago (playing Tuesday night in Los Angeles) and Cleveland, who split a double-header Tuesday with Seattle.