Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays' Price already looks ready for season

PORT CHARLOTTE — There were still 20 days and three more spring starts until the March 31 season opener when Rays ace LHP David Price walked off the mound Tuesday afternoon, but he couldn't look more ready.

Price dazzled in five innings and 75 pitches in the 7-1 win over the Twins, allowing a run on a Jason Kubel homer and two singles, walking one and hitting one while striking out eight, including All-Star Joe Mauer.

"I don't think he could look any better right now," manager Joe Maddon said. "I think it's impossible."

Price was in command and control, pleased with his velocity and execution of all pitches, especially his curveball.

"At this point everything feels really good and I feel like I'm right in line with where I need to be," Price said. "It's definitely a good feeling. I definitely haven't felt this good in spring training since 2009, 2010, somewhere along those lines. It's definitely been a while. It feels good to feel this good at this point in spring training, but we're still a couple weeks away, and that's when it matters."

BALFOUR RESTED: RHP Grant Balfour's next outing was pushed back from Tuesday until today — and shifted to a minor-league game — after he said he felt like he was in a "dead arm" period while pitching Saturday.

"There's nothing wrong," Maddon said. "It's just one of those moments in camp, just move him back an extra day."

MEDICAL MATTERS: OF David DeJesus returned to action with two hits after missing a week with right side soreness. … 2B Ben Zobrist, who was scratched from Saturday's lineup with a stiff neck, is scheduled to DH today vs. the Blue Jays. … RHP Joel Peralta, who left Saturday's game with a stiff neck, is set to pitch in a minor-league game in Port Charlotte.

PITCHING IN: Rookie RHP Nathan Karns, the fourth candidate for the No. 5 slot in the rotation, gets a chance to impress in making the start today in Dunedin. "I want to get out there and improve what I've been working on and just enjoy the opportunity," he said.

Karns is starting because the Rays didn't want RHP Alex Cobb to face the Jays for a second time this spring, since he'll pitch against them in the season-opening series. Cobb will pitch in a minor-league game in Port Charlotte, along with Balfour and Peralta.

ROSTER REDUCTION: C Curt Casali and Ps Santiago Garrido, Braulio Lara and Sam Runion were reassigned to minor-league camp, cutting the roster to 52 (including yet-to-report RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo).

Maddon said was "really impressed" with what he saw of Casali, who was acquired last spring from Detroit and is likely headed to Double-A Montgomery: "This guy's a big-league catcher. He's going to help us."

Maddon said he expected Oviedo to have resolved his visa issues and be in camp by now. But since the reliever has been throwing regularly in the Dominican Republic, Maddon wasn't ready to give up on him being on the opening day roster.

"We're not there yet," Maddon said. "I'm at the intersection of 'I'm okay with this' and 'Let's get this thing going.' … I'm still counting on Oviedo to be here and be ready."

GAME DETAILS: SS Yunel Esocbar and DeJesus knocked in runs in the second as the Rays (6-3-2) took a 2-1 lead and built on. … 1B James Loney had two hits. … RHP Brandon Gomes, battling for a bullpen spot, had his fourth scoreless outing. … Maddon said it was "encouraging" to see LHP Jake McGee again throw good curveballs, a pitch he is working to add to his repertoire. … Non-roster OF Jerry Sands rapped his sixth extra-base hit, raising his average to .421, and non-roster OF Jeremy Moore, coming back from a hip injury, hit his second homer.

David Price dominates the Twins, striking out eight in five innings and throwing 75 pitches in the Rays’ 7-1 victory.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

David Price dominates the Twins, striking out eight in five innings and throwing 75 pitches in the Rays’ 7-1 victory.

Rays' Price already looks ready for season 03/11/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 10:39am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Storm routs Cleveland

    Storm

    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.

  2. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Rays centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre puts Texas ahead 4-3 when he scores after two wild pitches.
  3. Rowdies shut out Charleston

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.
  4. Rays journal: Former closer Sergio Romo acquired from Dodgers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays made a move to help the bullpen Saturday night when they acquired RHP Sergio Romo, who had been designated for assignment last week by the Dodgers.

    Reliever Sergio Romo has 84 career saves, including 38 in 2013, but has struggled this season with the Dodgers, posting a 6.12 ERA in 25 innings before being designated for assignment.
  5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. backs wife's "not worth risk'' opinion on Daytona

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Saturday defended his wife's Twitter post — and blamed himself for putting her in a position where she believed she had to speak out and upset some of his fans.

    Amy Earnhardt worries about Dale Jr.’s concussions.