Price silences scuffling Twins; Jays win 5-1

Published 8:53 am Tuesday, August 4, 2015

TORONTO — Minnesota’s scuffling offense ran into a familiar foe with to a familiar result.

David Price struck out 11 over eight innings to win his Blue Jays debut, Josh Donaldson hit a tiebreaking home run and Toronto beat the Twins 5-1 in the opener of a four-game series between AL wild-card contenders.

Price is 4-0 with a 1.16 ERA in four starts against Minnesota this season.

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“He’s been tough on the Twins this year,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said.

Minnesota has scored just six runs over its past four games, losing three of them. Half those runs came in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Seattle.

Still, outfielder Torii Hunter isn’t too worried.

“We’ll be all right,” Hunter said. “Just keep telling yourself ‘David Price.’”

If Minnesota meets Price again this year, it’ll be in a playoff game.

Hunter, who played with Price in Detroit, called the lefty “a bulldog.”

“He’s always bearing down,” Hunter said. “Once he settled in, he’s David Price.”

Acquired from Detroit Thursday for a trio of minor league left-handers, Price received a standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 45,766 as he walked in from the bullpen before the game.

“That was the best atmosphere I’ve ever been in,” Price said. “I’ve never experienced anything like that.”

Price (10-4) allowed one run and three hits. He threw 119 pitches, two shy of his season high. His 11 strikeouts were the most by any pitcher in his Blue Jays debut. Roger Clemens struck out nine White Sox on April 2, 1997.

“There’s guys that kind of separate themselves,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “David’s at the top. He’s one of those guys. That’s what they do.”

The lefty retired the last 15 batters he faced. He tipped his cap as he walked to the dugout after the eighth.