MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Pushing the Tampa Bay Rays back toward .500 might be David Price’s way of dampening trade rumors.
The All-Star left-hander pitched eight scoreless innings to win five straight starts for the first time in his major league career, and the Rays beat the Minnesota Twins 5-1 Saturday night for their fourth consecutive victory.
“We were talking about it before the game, regarding how well he’s been pitching this year and trying to compare it to his Cy Young Award-winning year,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said, referring to 2012. “I’m telling you, he’s right there right now.”
Price disagrees. He thinks he’s even better.
“I’ve said that a month-and-a-half ago, six, seven starts ago,” Price said. “I’ve never been the pitcher that I am right now. It’s awesome, it’s cool.”
Price (10-7) gave up four hits, matching his season low, walked none and struck out nine to increase his major league-leading total to 173. He got in trouble only once, giving up consecutive singles to Chris Parmelee and Eduardo Escobar in the fifth before Eduardo Nunez grounded into an inning-ending double play.