(The Sports Xchange) - David Price provided everything the Blue Jays could have wanted on his Toronto debut on Monday as he allowed three hits, two walks, one run and struck out 11 in his first start since joining from the Detroit Tigers last week.
With third baseman Josh Donaldson hitting a two-run homer and second baseman Ryan Goins belting a solo shot, the Blue Jays carried the feel-good factor around the clubhouse to a 5-1 defeat of the Minnesota Twins.
Price (10-4) was also impressed by the warm welcome he received from a sellout crowd, as he was cheered during his warm-ups and left to a standing ovation after the eighth inning with the pitcher tipping his cap in return.
“That was the best atmosphere I’ve ever been in,” Price told reporters.
”I’ve pitched in really big games: Game 163 in Texas to go to the playoffs, in Fenway it’s an amazing atmosphere always, at the Trop in 2008 when we were in the playoffs with the cowbells and the dome that was really loud.
“Baltimore last year with Detroit, that was insane. And then Comerica as well. I’ve pitched in quite a few big games, but that atmosphere today, that takes the cake. I’ve never experienced anything like that. That was cool.”
The win was the first for Price since July 9. He had been 0-2 with a no-decision in his final three starts with the Tigers.
Right-hander LaTroy Hawkins pitched the ninth.
Twins right-hander Ervin Santana (2-2) allowed six hits, three walks and three runs while striking out two in six innings.
“It was a like a playoff game today. It was very crowded, everybody was loud. I just got the adrenalin going. It was good. (Price) pitched like an ace today,” Santana conceded.
After giving up a home run to Torii Hunter in the second, Price worked out of a bases-loaded jam with none out in the fourth after first baseman Trevor Plouffe had doubled and designated hitter Miguel Sano and Hunter had walked.
Left fielder Eddie Rosario popped out to shortstop Tory Tulowitzki, who made a fine play in shallow center field and made a quick throw home. Twins center fielder Aaron Hicks and catcher Kurt Suzuki struck out.
“We didn’t get much going after that,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “It was kind of tough. A game like today, when you have chances, you’d like to see guys take advantage of it.”
With the game tied at 1-1, Tulowitzki led off the fifth with a single and Donaldson followed with his 27th homer of the season, a drive to right, as the Blue Jays took a two-run lead.
The Blue Jays (55-52) added two more runs in the seventh against right-hander Blaine Boyer, who replaced Santana. The defeat saw the Twins slip to 54-51.
Editing by John O'Brien