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Price lasts 3 1/3 innings in '09 debut

Price lasts 3 1/3 innings in '09 debut

CLEVELAND -- David Price's much-anticipated season debut ended with a no-decision.

Thanks to reaching 100 pitches in 3 1/3 innings, Price, who was activated before Monday's contest after being called up from Triple-A Durham, was lifted with two men on in the fourth inning and Tampa Bay holding a 10-2 lead over the Indians.

And even though he was pulled long before the Rays' bullpen allowed seven runs in the ninth inning to turn what seemed like a sure win into an 11-10 loss, the 23-year-old left-hander held himself responsible for the defeat.

"I didn't have a feel for anything," Price said. "I've got to do a better job than that."

The high pitch count -- and not his performance -- brought Price's night to an early conclusion. He allowed two runs -- which came on Ryan Garko's homer in the fourth -- and four hits. The left-hander struck out six and walked five.

"I was averaging 10 pitches an out," Price said. "That's not good enough."

"David pitched well, but 100 pitches through 3 1/3 innings leaves a lot of outs to get," manager Joe Maddon said.

Price, who threw in the mid-to-high 90s for most of the game, allowed a walk to Jamey Carroll and a bloop double to Grady Sizemore to start the first, but regrouped to strike out Victor Martinez, Jhonny Peralta and Shin-Soo Choo.

Price, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, walked the leadoff man in the second, but retired the next three hitters. He pitched around a single and a walk in the third. Mark DeRosa singled to begin the fourth, and Garko followed with his home run into the left-field bleachers.

Price struck out Matt LaPorta, but walked Ben Francisco and Carroll. His last pitch to Carroll was his 100th for the night, and Maddon didn't hesitate to remove him for Lance Cormier.

"He had great stuff, but he was all over the place," Maddon said. "When you get that kind of lead, you should be able to get the starter through five."

Price may have been a victim of waiting in the dugout while his teammates put together big innings. The Rays scored five runs in the second, two in the third and three more in the fourth.

"That's what you want as a pitcher," Price said. "You want runs. They gave me 10. I've got to at least get through five."

The Indians were impressed.

"He throws hard, 98 [mph] from the left side," Garko said. "You don't see that very often. He throws a heavy ball that gets on you quick."

Steve Herrick is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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