The Tampa Bay Rays starter seemed more proud of his exploits on the basepaths.Given a rare chance to hit, Price took a walk and slid into second, drawing blood from his scraped-up knee."Yeah, that was awesome," Price said. "I got some on my pants. I played today."Catcher Kelly Shoppach heard all about it in the dugout."Oh, yeah," Shoppach said. "The pitchers have decided that's called 'hitter's knee,' I guess."Shoppach wasn't necessarily impressed -- especially when told that Price showed up at the plate for one at-bat with his shinguard on the wrong leg."There's a lot of baseball purists out there that love the pitchers hitting," Shoppach said. "But oh my gosh."Shoppach hit a two-run home run in the second, Elliot Johnson added a three-run shot in the seventh and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-3 Wednesday to take two out of three games in the series.Price (8-6) struck out 10 in eight innings, giving up two runs, five hits and a walk. Price threw 120 pitches and still was hitting 96 mph on Miller Park's radar gun in the eighth."He went to the 'uber' level today," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "That's what he had to do, and he knew that."B.J. Upton's RBI single gave Tampa Bay the lead in the sixth inning.Brewers starter Shaun Marcum went only three innings after leaving his most recent start with a hip flexor injury. Reliever Marco Estrada (1-5) lost.Kyle Farnsworth gave up a run in the ninth for Tampa Bay.He loaded the bases with one out and pinch hitter Nyjer Morgan's sacrifice fly scored Prince Fielder, cutting the lead to three runs. Farnsworth then got pinch hitter Mark Kotsay to ground out and end the game.Milwaukee, one of the hottest teams in baseball earlier this month, has lost seven of its last 10 games.Brewers manager Ron Roenicke doesn't think his team is headed into a downturn."I don't think so," Roenicke said. "I don't think we're always going to play our best series."Both teams have Thursday off. Milwaukee hosts Minnesota this weekend and Tampa Bay travels to Houston.It was a predictably short outing for Marcum, who gave up two hits, including Shoppach's, with a walk and two strikeouts.Marcum didn't miss a start after pitching only one inning against Boston on Friday because of the hip injury, but Roenicke said going into Wednesday's game that he intended to keep Marcum on a short leash and didn't expect him to go deep into the game."It was time to come out," Roenicke said. "We said three innings at first when we talked to him. We were going to look at three and then if his pitch count was down low, we didn't think he was fatigued at all, we'd let him go back out another inning. He threw enough pitches and we decided we didn't want to take the chance."Marcum sailed through the first inning, but gave up the two-run homer to Shoppach in the second.Marcum picked a runner off first base in the third but that would be his final inning, as Estrada came on to pitch the fourth.Marcum said he felt fine pitching but might have tweaked it during an at-bat."It was just that one swing I think kind of aggravated it and irritated it a little bit," Marcum said.Estrada also picked off a runner, getting Justin Ruggiano in the fifth.Estrada then allowed the go-ahead run in the sixth when Upton's soft line drive dropped in front of center fielder Carlos Gomez to score Sean Rodriguez and give the Rays a 3-2 lead.Estrada struck out Casey Kotchman to end the inning and limit the damage. But Johnson hit a three-run homer off reliever Tim Dillard to put the game out of reach in the seventh.Ryan Braun had an RBI single and Corey Hart scored as Prince Fielder grounded into a double play to give Milwaukee a 2-0 lead in the first inning off of Price, who opened strong by throwing fastballs in the mid-90s.Braun now has a 14-game hitting streak, the best of his career. Braun came into the game as the only player in the majors with three separate hitting streaks of 10 games or more this season.
Maddon said reliever J.P. Howell has a sore left foot and will be evaluated by the team's medical staff. Maddon was optimistic that Howell wouldn't have to go on the disabled list. ... Johnny Damon pinch-hit in the ninth, grounding out. ... Shoppach threw out Cory Hart trying to steal second base in the sixth.
39,632 (94.6% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
Home Plate - Brian Knight, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Bob Davidson, Third Base - Hunter Wendelstedt
David Price threw 23 outside fastballs with two strikes, second most in a start in his career. Six of Price's 10 strikeouts were with outside fastballs. Overall, nine of Price's strikeouts were with his fastball.