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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — David Price struck out a career-high 12 over seven innings, Casey Kotchman and Sam Fuld both homered, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Cleveland Indians 5-0 on Friday night.
Price (6-4) scattered four hits and walked two. The left-hander had given up 10 runs in 11 2-3 innings during his previous two starts.
The Rays went up 4-0 in the second on two-run homers by Kotchman and Fuld off Josh Tomlin (6-2). Relievers Joel Peralta and Adam Russell completed the four-hitter.
Tampa Bay’s Matt Joyce, who started play hitting a major league-best .367, had three hits — including a broken-bat RBI single during the seventh — in four at-bats.
Tomlin allowed four runs and 10 hits in six innings for the AL Central-leading Indians, who have lost three straight. Cleveland has been outscored 23-4 over that stretch.
Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore was activated from the 15-day disabled list and went 0 for 4, including two strikeouts, as the designated hitter. He had been on the DL with a bruised right kneecap after making a hard, late slide into second base May 10.
Price was OK after it appeared he took a glancing blow to the top of the head from part of a broken-bat on Sizemore’s seventh-inning grounder. He briefly rubbed his head and smiled when teammates came to check on him.
Cleveland manager Manny Acta said Sizemore, dropped from his normal leadoff spot to sixth in the lineup to get his timing back, will be the DH throughout the three-game series.
Acta moved slumping cleanup batter Carlos Santana to seventh in the order. Third-place hitter Shin-Soo Choo was rested. Orlando Cabrera was shifted from sixth to second, with Asdrubal Cabrera going from the two-hole to third.
Santana had been hitless in his previous 19 at-bats before hitting a two-out double in the second. He was left stranded when Austin Kearns struck out.
Price worked out of a two-on, one-out jam during the sixth by striking out Shelley Duncan and Matt LaPorta.
Notes: Acta didn’t rule out Sizemore playing the field once in the Indians’ next series at Toronto, which has artifical turf like Tropicana Field. ... Fuld entered in an 11-for-94 slide that has seen him dropped to ninth in the lineup after hitting leadoff 38 times this season. He followed up his homer with a fourth-inning bunt single. ... Rays All-Star 3B Evan Longoria was hitless in four at-bats, and is 4 for 33 in his last nine games. ... Tampa Bay CF B.J. Upton and LaPorta both struck out four times.