Price, Myers lead Rays to Opening Day Victory. | The Process Report

Price, Myers lead Rays to Opening Day Victory.

It started with a stellar defensive play before shifting to solid pitching and a swarming offense. That is the Rays’ blueprint and it was executed to near perfection on Opening Day 2014. David Price pitched into the eighth inning while Wil Myers led an offense that scored nine runs on 11 hits and eight walks in front of a sold-out crowd at Tropicana Field.

Pitching in perhaps his final season with the Rays, Price picked up where he left off in the second half of 2013. The former Cy Young winner allowed two runs on six hits and a walk in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out six and induced seven groundball outs including a double play.

Price’s gameplan for the Blue Jays was simple. He consistently attacked the zone with a low-to-mid 90s fastball. Of the 102 pitches he threw, 60 of them were heaters. And of those 46 of them went for strikes including eight swings and misses. Price commanded the pitch arm-side and away from right-handed hitters. He put 12 cutters in nearly the same spot, coaxing five additional outs. To round out his arsenal, the lanky lefty threw a handful of breaking balls and a changeup that varied in location.

Providing Price with plenty of support was a swarming offense that scored in five of the eight innings they batted. Myers led the way with three hits while Matt Joyce, Evan Longoria and Desmond Jennings each chipped in with two hits. Ben Zobrist went hitless, but reached base three times on walks. The reigning Rookie of the Year winner registered the teams first hit of the year and soon after scored the first run. In an eventful eighth inning, Myers reached base on an infield single and raced around to score on a pair of Jays’ errors.

Alex Cobb takes the mound in game two for the Rays opposite Drew Hutchison.

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