video thumbnail

Price on pitching in the Bronx for first time in 2013

The Rays successfully carried the momentum gained from their series sweep of the Orioles into the Bronx on Tuesday, and they'll try to improve their standing atop the American League Wild Card race against the Yankees on Wednesday night.

After scuffling through the early part of September, Tampa Bay has won 10 of its last 14 contests, including Tuesday's 7-0 decision in the series opener.

Tuesday's loss dropped the Yankees to five games behind Cleveland for the AL Wild Card's second spot, and with just five games remaining, one more loss or an Indians victory will eliminate New York from postseason contention.

Rays lefty David Price will make his final start of the regular season, seeking his first win since Aug. 24. Whether due to a lack of run support or his own inability to pitch deep into games, Price has not been able to rediscover the groove he enjoyed for much of July and August.

Price, though, is confident this will not be his last appearance of 2013.

"What are we going to do, lose the next six games?" Price said before Tuesday's game. "No, I hope not. I think everybody in here is set on us going to the playoffs. We've put ourselves in a position to control our own destiny."

Yankees starter Phil Hughes, meanwhile, will be filling in for CC Sabathia, whose season is over due to a strained left hamstring. Hughes could be relieved early in the game by long man David Huff.

Rays: Loney well traveled
First baseman James Loney entered Tuesday's game leading all Major Leaguers with a .351 road batting average.

If Loney keeps it up, he will break the team record of .342 set by Carl Crawford in 2007.

Although he was the hero in Monday's Rays win, hitting a walk-off home run to drop the Orioles, Loney hit just .245 at Tropicana Field this season.

Yankees: Sabathia ready to turn the page
After leaving Friday's start with his injury, Sabathia finished 2013 with a 14-13 record and a 4.78 ERA, the highest of his career.

Sabathia is excited by the prospect of starting fresh next season.

"I think I'll be back to myself," Sabathia said on Tuesday. "I know a lot of people have written me off and said I've thrown too many innings and whatever, but I'll still be here and still be accountable. I'll still be the guy that signed up in 2009."

Worth noting
• The Rays are the first AL team to record at least 15 shutouts in consecutive years since the A's did it in 1989 and '90.

• The Yankees' 28-16 record in one-run games this season is the best winning percentage in the Majors. They were 22-25 in one-run games last season.

MLB.com Comments