HOUSTON -- David Price produced another extraordinary display of exquisite control, striking out 10 without issuing a walk as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Houston Astros 4-3 on Sunday at Minute Maid Park.
Price (5-6) allowed five hits and retired the final 11 batters he faced. Of his 116 pitches, only 36 were balls. His performance was reminiscent of his previous start in Houston when he allowed three hits over seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters while needing just 70 pitches.
The Rays (27-43) won their first road series since May 12-14 at Seattle by clawing their way back from a pair of two-run deficits. Shortstop Yuniel Escobar plated the first two runs, working a bases-loaded walk off Astros right-hander Brad Peacock in the second before doubling home designated hitter David DeJesus with one out in the fourth.
A one-minute, 52-second replay review in the sixth proved critical for it enabled the Rays to pull even at 3-all when center fielder Desmond Jennings was awarded first base after initially being called out on an inning-ending double play. Escobar scored from third after the reversal.
The Rays forged in front when Jerry Sands delivered a pinch-RBI single that scored left fielder Matt Joyce. Sands broke three bats during the at-bat, including on the final swing that put the Rays ahead.
Jerome Williams (1-3) suffered the loss for the Astros (32-39).
Left-hander Jake McGee earned his first save by working a scoreless ninth.
The afternoon began promising enough for the Astros, with center fielder Dexter Fowler and third baseman Matt Dominguez cranking solo home runs in the bottom of the first inning to give Houston a 2-0 lead.
Price began the day tied for the American League lead with 13 homers allowed, a state reflective of his penchant for throwing strikes. Once Price started getting the Astros to swing and miss, runs became scarce.
Fowler doubled and scored when first baseman Jesus Guzman squeezed a run-scoring single off Price into right field with two outs in the third inning. That proved to be the final glimpse of his vulnerability.
Price retired the side in order in the second, fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings and it required a deftly-placed, one-out bunt single by shortstop Jonathan Villar in the fifth to slow his dominance. Villar advanced to second and third on a pair of stolen bases but was stranded when Astros right fielder George Springer struck out for the third time.
NOTES: Rays RHP David Price allowed his first career leadoff home run in his 162nd start, surrendering a blast to Astros CF Dexter Fowler in the bottom of the first inning. ... Astros 2B Jose Altuve (right hand contusion) hit before the game but was absent from the lineup for a third consecutive start. Altuve pinch-hit with one out in the ninth inning for a fielder's choice groundout.
... The Astros placed RHP Josh Fields on the 15-day disabled list with forearm soreness. RHP Paul Clemens was recalled from Triple A Oklahoma City. The Astros also agreed to terms with RHP Jose Veras on a minor league contract. Veras will report first to the team complex in Kissimmee, Fla., then to Oklahoma City.