NEW YORK (Detroit Free Press) — David Price made his Detroit Tigers debut Tuesday night. He did not make his Yankee Stadium debut.
He's pitched well here over the years. And he did again Tuesday, showing the mound presence and arsenal the Tigers coveted.
The newest Tigers starter went nearly nine innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, good enough to get his teammates to extra innings, where Alex Avila's solo home run in the 12th lifted the Tigers to a 4-3 win against the New York Yankees.
If Price was nervous, it didn't show. He is known for taking his time between pitches – to call him methodical is an understatement. But he has a plan, and that plan is to pound the strike zone.
At one point, Price had thrown 62 pitches, 47 of them for strikes. That's the sort of ratio that keeps hitters from being patient, and that explains the strikeouts.
Price threw 10 of them in 82⁄3 eight innings. Unfortunately for him, he left a couple of those strikes up in the zone and over the plate.
That's all Brian McCann and Martin Prado needed. Neither McCann nor Prado are having an especially notable season at the plate, yet both smacked solo home runs. McCann, in particular, has a history – albeit a small one – of success against Price.
For the second night in a row in the Bronx, the Tigers had trouble scoring. Victor Martinez hit a sacrifice fly in the first inning to ding Yankees starter, Hiroki Kuroda.
The Tigers didn't score again until the sixth, when Andrew Romine – filling in for the injured Eugenio Suarez – hit a solo home run to cut the lead to 3-2.
Avila singled in the seventh to tie the game, scoring Martinez.
Kuroda kept the Tigers off-balance for most of the night, limiting them to six hits and three runs. He struck out five and walked none.
Price didn't walk a batter either, displaying the precision that helped him to a Cy Young. As his manager, Brad Ausmus, said before the game, if Price pitches ten times, in nine of them he will give the Tigers a chance to win.
He did Tuesday night.