PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) - David Price used his curveball in a game for the first time this spring, taking another step forward in his preparation for the regular season.
The left-hander pitched into the sixth inning during the Tampa Bay Rays' 7-5 exhibition loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.
``David was really good,' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ``I was very pleased. He had a good fastball, a lot of good breaking balls. He used his entire arsenal. I thought he looked pretty good.'
Toronto scored four times in the ninth inning. Yan Gomes had a three-run double.
Price allowed two runs and four hits in 5 1-3 innings, reaching 96 mph several times in the sixth. He issued two walks, both to Edwin Encarnacion after the third baseman homered in the second.
``My body feels good. My arm feels good. I feel pretty close to where I need to be right now,' Price said.
Toronto left-hander Brett Cecil walked five in 2 2-3 innings, throwing 81 pitches. He gave up four runs and four hits with three strikeouts.
Cecil allowed an earned run and walked just three in his first four spring starts.
``I felt good, but it just wasn't there tonight,' Cecil said.
The command issues started in the first inning when Cecil issues back-to-back walks to Sean Rodriguez and Ben Zobrist. One out later, Jeff Keppinger hit an RBI single to left.
``Every spring training, a pitcher is going to have a mulligan at times and tonight was the one for him,' Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. ``The five walks were uncharacteristic for him, so we'll look to right the ship the next time out for him. He never really commanded the ball tonight and never really had consistent control of the strike zone. He does have two more starts to get his work in and improve upon this one.'
Toronto prospect Drew Hutchinson pitched the last four innings, allowing just one run and two hits.
``I thought what Hutch did was outstanding, facing some of the regulars in the lineup for a couple innings there,' Farrell said. ``He's got such good fastball command. He can get outs inside the strike zone. He pitches ahead in the count.'
NOTES: Blue Jays RF Ben Francisco left with a left hamstring strain after running out a ground ball in the first inning. . Rays OF Sam Fuld left after he re-aggravated his sore left wrist while striking out swinging in the third inning. Fuld will see get an MRI on Monday. . Rays LF Desmond Jennings (shoulder) struck out three times in a minor league game. Rays manager Joe Maddon is optimistic Jennings and B.J. Upton (back) will be ready for opening day.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved