(The Sports Xchange) - David Price allowed three singles in seven innings while Justin Smoak became the first Blue Jay to hit a grand slam at Yankee Stadium on Saturday in a 6-0 victory over the Yankees.
Price (11-4) allowed his first two hits in the fourth, giving up a leadoff single to designated hitter Alex Rodriguez and a two-out base hit to right fielder Carlos Beltran before retiring nine in a row.
”I made better pitches,“ said Price. ”I got ahead more often. When I was behind, I was able to make a better pitch and that’s what it boils down, especially as pitchers.
“You’ve got to be able to execute and for the most part that’s what I did.”
Price struck out seven, issued three walks and threw 71 of 110 pitches for strikes. He put two on in the seventh but ended his second outing with Toronto by getting second baseman Brendan Ryan on a pop-up.
“He’s been great,” Smoak said. “From day one, I think everyone was excited to have a guy that just goes out there and do what he does. We know if we can get a few runs up on the board... . After that homer, 4-0 lead, with Price on the mound, you know it’s pretty much game over.”
Price’s effort helped the Blue Jays (60-52) climb to within 2-1/2 games of the Yankees (61-48) in first place in the AL East.
Toronto began getting to right-hander Ivan Nova (4-4) as he approached the 100-pitch mark.
The Blue Jays had the bases loaded after third baseman Josh Donaldson walked, Jose Bautista singled and designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion walked on Nova’s 100th pitch.
Two pitches after Nova hit 100, Smoak drove a 0-and-1 curveball into the right field seats adjacent to the Yankees bullpen.
It was Smoak’s first career grand slam and the first by a Blue Jay in 285 games in New York.
“That was pretty cool, especially with all the teams and hitters that have come through Toronto,” Smoak said.
Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki hit his third home run with the Blue Jays, driving a 3-and-2 pitch from reliever Bryan Mitchell into the left field seats with two out in the seventh.
Catcher Russell Martin added a run-scoring single with two out in the eighth.
Compiled by Greg Stutchbury