ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays overcame a masterful performance by David Price.
Price allowed only a first-inning RBI triple to Brandon Guyer in his first start against his former team, and Alex Cobb and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Detroit Tigers 1-0 Thursday to avoid a three-game sweep.
"It’s weird," Guyer said. "I’ve never seen a win like that."
Ben Zobrist reached on a throwing error by shortstop Eugenio Suarez and scored on Guyer’s hit. Price then retired his final 23 batters, nine on strikeouts, to finish an eight-inning complete game.
Cobb (9-6) scattered two hits, walked two and struck out six over seven innings, improving to 7-0 in his last 10 starts. After Brad Boxberger worked out of an eighth-inning jam, Jake McGee got three outs for his 14th save and complete a four-hitter.
"What can I say, man?" Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "It really lived up to the billing prior to the game. Just happy we won."
Kevin Kiermaier, inserted as a defensive replacement in right field, made diving catch on Rajai Davis’ flare with a runner on second and one out in the eighth.
Price, traded to the Tigers as part of a three-team deal on July 31, got a standing ovation while taking his warmup throws before the bottom of the first.
"That’s probably as good as I’ve pitched in a game that went my way," Price said. "It’s the least amount of hits I’ve ever given up.
Price, taken first overall by Tampa Bay in the 2007 draft, got the save in the Rays’ Game 7 victory over Boston in the 2008 AL championship series and was the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner.
"All the stuff leading up to the game was awesome," Cobb said. "Definitely, David deserved everything he got from the crowd and leading up to the game with all the hype. Once it became game-time, the facts are we’re streaking in the wrong direction a little bit and we definitely needed the win."
Tampa Bay had lost four in a row after becoming just the fourth big league team to reach .500 in the same season after dropping 18-games under the break-even mark. The Rays lead the AL with 16 shutouts.
"Classic pitchers’ duel," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.
Alex Avila walked and Suarez singled to open the third, but Cobb got a double-play grounder from Davis and Ian Kinsler’s grounder. The Tigers also failed score in the seventh when J.D. Martinez struck out and Nick Castellanos hit a flyball with runners on second and third.
Tigers: Miguel Cabrera was the DH one day after aggravating an old right ankle injury sliding at home plate Wednesday night. "Generally speaking he’s fine," Ausmus said. ... RHP Justin Verlander (sore right shoulder) threw a light bullpen with "no issues" and is scheduled to start one game in Saturday’s doubleheader at Minnesota. He walked into Ausmus’ office after the mound session and high-fived the manager.
Rays: C Ryan Hanigan (oblique) is scheduled to play for Class-A Charlotte Friday.
The Rays are the first team since the 1915 St. Louis Terriers of the Federal League to win and lose a one-hit game during the same season. Tampa Bay allowed one hit in a 3-2 loss to Oakland on May 21.
Tigers: Detroit heads to Minnesota for a four-game series that begins Friday night. The second AL wild-card leader trails Central Division-leading Kansas City by 1 1-2 games.
Rays: Tampa Bay opens a seven-game, two-city road trip Friday night against AL East-rival Toronto.
Yankees 3, Astros 0
NEW YORK -- Brandon McCarthy pitched a four-hitter and the New York Yankees avoided a three-game sweep, beating the Houston Astros 3-0 Thursday.
New York won for just the third time in 10 games. Chase Headley hit an early two-run double and the Yankees backed McCarthy with flawless fielding.
The Yankees’ fans also made fine plays -- sitting in the first row behind the Houston dugout, comedian Chris Rock wound up with a foul ball off the bat of Astros rookie Jon Singleton, and he gave the souvenir to a young boy as the crowd cheered.
McCarthy (5-2) outpitched Dallas Keuchel (10-9) as they both threw complete games without a walk. The Yankees had been shut out in McCarthy’s previous two starts.
McCarthy struck out eight in his fourth career shutout and first this season. He was 3-10 with Arizona before being traded to the Yankees in July.
Keuchel gave up seven hits and struck out five.
The Astros had won three in a row overall. They were trying to become the first team to come into Yankee Stadium at least 20 games under .500 and sweep a series of three games or more since Milwaukee did it to close the 1972 season, STATS said.
The Yankees took a 3-0 lead in the second when a double by Martin Prado set up Headley’s two-run double. Prado and Headley were the only two Yankees starters to previously hit against Keuchel.
Ichiro Suzuki added a sacrifice fly later in the inning.
Dexter Fowler hit a broken-bat double in the Houston fourth -- the barrel reached the infield dirt, the ball two-hopped off the right-field wall -- that put runners at second and third. Marc Krauss followed with a hard grounder off McCarthy’s leg and, after taking a moment to locate the ball on the grass, the lanky pitcher zipped a throw to first that ended the threat.
McCarthy escaped another second-and-third jam in the seventh when Singleton struck out -- right after hitting a foul pop to the third-base side that Rock recovered -- and retiring Carlos Corporan on a flyball.
Astros: Closer Chad Qualls didn’t pitch in a save situation Wednesday night because of a back problem. Manager Bo Porter said the right-hander got treatment, but didn’t want to comment on Qualls’ availability.
Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka is ready to throw to hitters on the side Saturday in his latest comeback effort from an elbow tear. The session will most likely be at Yankee Stadium. ... Slumping Carlos Beltran again didn’t play because of his balky right elbow. He recently had his third cortisone shot. Manager Joe Girardi said the team should have a "good idea by Saturday where we’re headed with this."
Astros: RHP Brad Peacock (3-8, 5.47 ERA) starts Friday night at Cleveland vs. RHP Carlos Carrasco (5-4, 3.27). Peacock will be making his third start since returning from the minors.
Yankees: RHP Shane Greene (3-1, 2.91) starts at Yankee Stadium against White Sox LHP John Danks (9-8, 4.94) on Friday night. None of the Chicago hitters have ever faced Greene.