Reigning Cy Young winners battle evenly in a rare matchup

Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 10:04pm

There was no loser, not among the starting pitchers at least.

Middle Tennessee natives David Price and R.A. Dickey each allowed two earned runs but neither factored into the decision in a rare matchup of reigning Cy Young Award winners that went extra innings Thursday.

Price’s Tampa Bay Rays eventually got the best of Dickey’s Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 before 11,979 at Tropicana Field. Tampa scored the winning run on Luke Scott’s two-out, bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 10th.

Price struck out eight, walked one and allowed seven hits in eight innings. He allowed four runs in all but only half of them were earned, which made it the first time in five starts he allowed fewer than three earned runs. The eight innings pitched matched his season-high.

Dickey struck out five, walked five and allowed five hits in six innings. He allowed three runs, one of which was unearned, and left with his team on top 4-3.

The Rays tied it on Yunel Escobar’s leadoff home run off Steve Delabar, the first of four relievers who followed Dickey.

Price, a Murfreesboro native and Vanderbilt All-American, won the American League Cy Young last season and Dickey, a Nashville native and University of Tennessee graduate, won the National League Cy Young while with the New York Mets. Toronto traded from him during the offseason, which put the two in the same league.

The last time the two reigning Cy Young Award winners pitched against one another was July 15, 1999 — the third year of interleague play — when Atlanta’s Tom Glavine and the New York Yankees Roger Clemens did it.

The only other time it happened was an Aug. 28, 1989, meeting between Frank Viola of the New York Mets and Orel Hershiser of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Viola won the 1988 American League Cy Young with Minnesota.

Dickey came in at 2-5 with a 5.36 ERA and losses in his last three outings. Price was 1-3 with a 6.25 ERA. He gave up nine earned runs in 6.2 innings his last time out.

Both were 20-game winners in 2012.