video thumbnail

TB@CIN: Price fans 10 over 8 1/3 stellar frames

The Rays welcome the Twins to Tropicana Field on Tuesday to begin a three-game series.

Last season, the Rays held a 6-1 advantage over the Twins, sweeping them in a four-game home series in July before taking two out of three in a September series in Minnesota.

David Price will start for the Rays while Kyle Gibson goes for the Twins.

The Rays opted to keep Price on regular days rest rather than have Jake Odorizzi make the start. Tuesday would have been Odorizzi's slot in the rotation. He has been moved back to start Wednesday's game.

An interesting element of Price going against the Twins is their hitters lead the American League in walks, and Price pounds the strike zone.

"Yeah, they have led the league in walks and I know they're at the top of the league in runs as well," Price said. "They're swinging the bats well, they're playing well. [Chris] Colabello's done a really good job for them, I know that. And [Joe] Mauer's always going to be Mauer.

"I just want to go and throw the ball and get us started out right in the first game of that series, unlike the other day, and just get the ball rolling well."

Price allowed six earned runs in five innings in his last start Thursday night against the Yankees when he took his first loss of the season. Nevertheless, Price said he feels good.

"I feel really good," Price said. "I feel much better than my stat line from the other day. Really thought I threw the ball much better than that. But that's just the way it happens. It's baseball. It's going to happen.

"You're going to have those days, and hopefully I don't have another one of this year. But if I do, it happens. It's not due to a lack of effort or caring. It's just one of those things where I got beat."

With an off-day on Monday, the Twins had a decision to making regarding how they would set their rotation against the Rays. Manager Ron Gardenhire decided that Gibson would work Tuesday's game on normal rest and Mike Pelfrey would be pushed back a day to start on Wednesday.

The Twins are hopeful that the extra day will help Pelfrey, who has struggled with a 7.98 earned run average through three starts.

"[Pelfrey] has to be better," Gardenhire said. "He knows it, everybody knows it."

Gibson pitched eight shutout innings against the Blue Jays in Thursday's 7-0 Twins win, displaying dominating stuff in the process. He now has a 0.93 ERA.

Gibson stands 6-foot-6, and a big part of his success can be attributed to his fastball. Though it clocks in in the low 90s, Gibson's fastball has a lot of sinking and darting movement.

The tall right-hander is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in one career start against the Rays.

Twins: Fuld heads back to the Trop

The Twins claimed outfielder Sam Fuld on Sunday, and the former Ray will be in uniform for the Twins Tuesday night.

Fuld came to the Rays prior to the 2011 season in the trade that sent Matt Garza to the Cubs. He quickly became a fan favorite for his hustle and drive.

Memorable among the many Fuld highlights while with the Rays were the span of games early in 2011 when the "Legend of Sam Fuld" was born and, later that season, when he drew a bases-loaded walk that proved significant in the Rays' comeback in Game 162.

Rays: Metrics craze

Since the arrival of Joe Maddon as the Rays manager and Andrew Friedman as the executive vice president of baseball operations, the Rays have been believers in using the data they compile to position their fielders.

Initially, the Rays seemed to be alone while embracing odd shifts in the field depending on the hitter. Other teams finally have followed suit, which Maddon believes has played a part in the Rays' slow offense.

"I really believe with the buy-in by a lot of teams regarding defense, it makes offense even less productive," Maddon said. "And with the buy-in, all the metric stuff, it makes pitchers more effective. So there's all this buying in going on everywhere all of a sudden, and I really wished they had not, because it really makes our job more difficult, because now we're looking in the mirror a lot more often.

"I really preferred [2008-10] whereas everybody through we were nuts. ... So when you're talking about the razor-thin line between winning the league, this is a laser-thin line. We're almost there and whatever comes after that."

Worth noting

• Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings (sore groin) is expected to be almost back to full speed for Tuesday night's game.

• Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (right elbow surgery) had a minor setback after throwing 10 to 15 curve balls while with the team in Kansas City. But he's back to being pain free and still feels on track to rejoin the rotation in early June.

• Colabello drove in a career-high six runs on April 3 against the White Sox.

• Brian Dozier has six career leadoff home runs, tying him for fifth on the all-time Twins leadoff homer list. Comments