ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Not even the return of Grady Sizemore could help the Cleveland Indians against David Price.
Price struck out a career-high 12 over seven innings, Casey Kotchman and Sam Fuld both homered, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Indians 5-0 on Friday night.
Sizemore was activated from the 15-day disabled list and went 0 for 4, including two strikeouts, as the designated hitter. He had been on the DL with a bruised right kneecap after making a hard, late slide into second base May 10.
``Welcome to the big leagues, he's coming back and he has to face David Price right off the bat,' Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. ``Hey, he's good player and he's going to get his timing down and he's going to help us a big deal. Excited to have him back.'
Sizemore was part of a scary play in the seventh when part of his broken bat on a grounder struck the back of Price's head. Price was OK, and smiled when teammates came to check on him.
``If it had been the sharp part, I'm sure I'd have something (like a cut),' Price said.
Price (6-4) scattered four hits and walked two. The left-hander had given up 10 runs in 11 2-3 innings during his previous two starts.
``We couldn't do anything against him,' Acta said. ``He was overpowering.'
Price gave up two runs over eight innings when the Rays beat Cleveland 8-2 on May 11 to end the Indians' 14-game home winning streak.
The Rays went up 4-0 in the second on two-run homers by Kotchman and Fuld off Josh Tomlin (6-2). Relievers Joel Peralta and Adam Russell completed the four-hitter.
Tampa Bay's Matt Joyce, who started play hitting a major league-best .367, had three hits - including a broken-bat RBI single during the seventh - in four at_bats. The three-hit outing lifted his average 10 points.
Tomlin allowed four runs and 10 hits in six innings for the AL Central-leading Indians, who have lost three straight. Cleveland has been outscored 23-4 over that stretch.
``They're good. They're not going anywhere,' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ``They've done it in a very typical Cleveland way, very quietly. Then all of a sudden they spring it on you. When you really look at it, it's not that surprising. They're willing to take their lumps when they have to, then they always seem to be able to put it back together.'
Sizemore, dropped from his normal leadoff spot to sixth in the lineup to get his timing back, will be the DH throughout the three-game series.
Acta moved slumping cleanup batter Carlos Santana to seventh in the order. Third-place hitter Shin-Soo Choo was rested. Orlando Cabrera was shifted from sixth to second, with Asdrubal Cabrera going from the two-hole to third.
Santana had been hitless in his previous 19 at_bats before hitting a two-out double in the second. He was left stranded when Austin Kearns struck out.
Price worked out of a two-on, one-out jam during the sixth by striking out Shelley Duncan and Matt LaPorta.
``He's one of the elite pitchers in the game, both leagues included,' Acta said. ``I'm not going to be hard on my lineup.'
Notes: Acta didn't rule out Sizemore playing the field once in the Indians' next series at Toronto, which has artifical turf like Tropicana Field. ... The Rays have won nine of the last 10 games against Cleveland in Florida. ... Tampa Bay CF B.J. Upton and LaPorta both struck out four times. ... Tomlin has allowed 10 homers in 10 starts this year.
The Associated Press News Service
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