ARLINGTON -- At 24, David Price is the youngest pitcher to be leading the American League or the National League in wins and ERA on June 4, since 23-year-old Wilson Alvarez led the AL with the White Sox in 1993 (his eight wins were tied for first and his 2.55 ERA was first).
Price is the youngest to be leading the AL or NL outright in both categories since 23-year-old Bret Saberhagen led the AL with the Royals in 1987 (10 wins and a 2.22 ERA). The only other Rays pitcher to be leading the AL in wins on June 24 was Rolando Arrojo, whose eight wins in 1998 were tied for the AL lead.
Blalock, Benoit make returns to Arlington
ARLINGTON -- Friday night's game was a homecoming of sorts for Hank Blalock and Joquin Benoit, who each spent eight years with the Rangers.
When asked what he felt like returning to Arlington in the visitors' dugout, Blalock quipped to a reporter: "Feels strange, like I'm in England driving on the wrong side of the road."
Both players were grateful for their years in Texas and enjoyed playing for the team.
"I have a lot of positive memories from my time in Texas," Blalock said.
Blalock also said "that's just how it goes" when talking about the Rangers electing to go another direction where he was concerned. "They had Chris Davis coming up who they wanted to go with at first base, moved [Michael Young] to third. I just kind of mixed and matched ... DH'd my last year and they decided to move on without me. I just kind of try to stay in the present. I'm on the Rays now and I'm in a great situation."
Blalock said players understand it's unlikely they'll spend their entire careers with one team.
"I think everyone thinks they're going to be that guy when they get drafted, though," Blalock said. "I made it a long time, 1999 to 2009, that's longer than a lot of people make it. I appreciate everything the Rangers did for me."
Benoit said, "I've got a lot of friends [in Texas]. ... I have good memories of [being in Texas]."
Benoit did not play Friday night, but Blalock did, and he did so with an added twist.
The former Ranger entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the sixth and drove in a run when he hit into a fielder's choice. The surprise came when he did not leave the game and headed off to play right field, a position he had never played professionally.
Joe Maddon explained that Blalock had worked with outfield coach George Hendrick while in Toronto to the point where he told the Rays manager he felt comfortable in the outfield.
"After taking some balls off the bat in batting practice in Toronto, I got to a point where I was as ready as I was going to get," Blalock said. "The only way to get comfortable is to play there in the game."
Blalock did not have any balls hit in his direction.
Quipped Maddon: "It's funny. Every ball is going to be hit there or none. I thought he looked really good out there actually."
Rays impressed with Galarraga, Joyce
ARLINGTON -- Inside the Rays' clubhouse there was a lot of admiration for the way Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga and umpire Jim Joyce handled the aftermath of Wednesday night's blown call by Joyce that cost Galarraga a perfect game.
"That was spectacular," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "The word classy is overused a lot of times. But that truly was a classy moment on his part and Jimmy's part. I thought Jim Joyce handled it about a good as it could have been handled from the umpire side of things. Equally, both of them, I was really impressed with both of those guys."
Rays pitcher James Shields said Galarraga handled the whole thing "unbelievably."
"This is two days later and I'm still saying he handled it unbelievable," Shields said. "I don't think any pitcher in the big leagues would have handled it the way he did. I actually feel bad for Jim Joyce. ... I don't want to say those things happen, because they don't. But it's a tough situation. It's kind of sad, it's sad for both parties, Jim and Galarraga as well."
Shields called Joyce "awesome."
"That's one thing the players ask for in the umpires is for them to be accountable for their actions," Shields said. "And he definitely was. ... He's a great umpire -- a good guy. He's definitely a baseball guy."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.