ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A rare matchup of reigning Cy Young Award winners won’t be remembered as a pitching duel.
Tampa Bay’s David Price and Toronto’s R.A. Dickey both pitched well enough to win but weren’t involved in the decision Thursday night when the Rays beat the Blue Jays 5-4 on a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the 10th inning.
Luke Scott fell behind 0-2 in the count before patiently waiting out Brad Lincoln. The Rays loaded the bases on Evan Longoria’s double off Aaron Loup (1-3) and two walks.
“In that case, a walk is as good as a hit,” Scott said.
“It’s fantastic he was able to hold up right there,” manager Joe Maddon said of the designated hitter’s discipline. “You really don’t want to open it up right there. You want to make him throw strikes.”
The Price-Dickey matchup marked just the third time since the Cy Young has been awarded in both leagues that reigning winners have faced each other the following season.
In the other matchups, Atlanta’s Tom Glavine beat the Roger Clemens and the New York Yankees 6-2 on July 15, 1999 and the Mets’ Frank Viola defeated the Dodgers’ Orel Hershiser 1-0 on Aug. 28, 1989.
Clemens won the AL Cy Young with Toronto in 1998 and was acquired by the Yankees before the 1999 season. Viola won his award with Minnesota in 1988, then moved from the Twins to the Mets at the trade deadline the following summer.
Dickey allowed three runs and five hits, walked five and struck out five in six innings for the Blue Jays. He left with a 4-3 lead that Steve Delabar relinquished by giving up a solo homer to the first batter the reliever faced, ex-Blue Jay Yunel Escobar leading off the seventh.
Price worked eight innings for Tampa Bay, yielding four runs (two earned) and seven hits in eight innings. Scott singled to right field with the potential go-ahead run on second base with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, but Longoria was thrown out trying to score.
The Rays ace said he didn’t give much thought to the historical significance of reigning Cy Young winners facing each other.
“If this was the National League or something like that where I had to face him or had to pitch against him, then it’s a little bit different,” the 2012 AL winner said.
“But we were probably the only two people on the field that really don’t have too much to do with each other. You know you have to come out there with good stuff, especially whenever you’re facing somebody like R.A., somebody else’s ace. It was a good game.”
Jose Bautista drove in two runs with a double and sacrifice fly for Toronto. His throw to the plate from right field prevented the Rays from taking the lead in the eighth.
Kyle Farnsworth (2-0) pitched one inning to get the win.
Dickey won a career-best games with the Mets last season and was traded to Toronto in December. Price edged Justin Verlander in balloting for the 2012 AL Cy Young after becoming Tampa Bay’s first 20-game winner.
Neither pitcher has been nearly as effective this year. They entered Thursday night with a combined three victories between them, and the Rays had lost six of the previous seven games that Price started. Dickey has not won since beating the Chicago White Sox at home on April 18, dropping his last three decisions.
The Blue Jays have lost two straight after winning the first two games of a four-game series at Tropicana Field.
“It’s just sad because you pour your heart and soul into the game and it doesn’t always end up in a win,” Dickey said. “We’re playing hard. We’re not maybe playing the smartest baseball, but we’re playing hard. … We’ll figure it out.”
Longoria doubled and Joyce singled to drive in runs to give Price a quick 2-0 lead in the first. The Blue Jays answered with Brett Lawrie’s RBI single in the second, as well as Bautista’s RBI double and Edwin Encarnacion’s run-scoring single in the third for a 3-2 lead Dickey was unable to hold through the bottom half of the inning.
Ben Zobrist lined a triple over the head of centerfielder Colby Rasmus, then scored on passed ball to make it 3-3.
Notes: Price’s ERA dropped by a run — from 6.25 to 5.24 — without the left-hander throwing a pitch earlier Thursday. An official scoring change from his last start took away five earned runs from a 9-3 loss at Colorado. A seventh-inning, two-out infield single credited to the Rockies’ Michael Cuddyer was changed to an error on shortstop Ben Zobrist. The play initially was scored an error had been changed to an infield hit after the game. … The Blue Jays optioned LHP Ricky Romero to Triple-A Buffalo, designated RHP Edgar Gonzalez for assignment, and purchased the contracts of RHP Mickey Storey and RHP Ramon Ortiz from Buffalo. … LHP J.A. Happ will not throw for a week because of the sprained knee he suffered after getting hit in the head by a line drive Tuesday night. Happ, whose skull was fractured in the incident, will probably pitch a game or two in a rehab assignment before returning to the Toronto rotation. … Blue Jays RHP Brandon Morrow, originally scheduled to pitch Friday at Boston, had his start pushed back to Sunday after experiencing back spasms and a stiff neck in a bullpen session.