By Joe Smith,
c.2012 Tampa Bay Times@
ST. PETERSBURG LHP David Price enters tonight's start against the Twins hoping to kick off a series better than he did Thursday in a loss to the Yankees.
In a showdown with LHP CC Sabathia, Price allowed a season-high six runs and 10 hits in a season-low five innings as the Rays dropped the opener 10-2.
But Price believes those numbers weren't reflective of how he pitched.
"I feel good," Price said. "I feel much better than my stat line from the other day.
"I really thought I threw the ball better than that. It's just how 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 this year. But if I do, then it happens. It's not due to lack of effort, or lack of caring, it's just one of those things where I got beat."
Price (2-1, 4.39) said he's happy the Rays tweaked the rotation, moving him up from Wednesday to keep him on his usual five-day schedule. But he knows the rebuilding Twins (9-9), who are among the major-league leaders in runs and walks, will provide a challenge.
"They're swinging the bats well, they're playing well," Price said. "I just want to go throw the ball, get us started off right in this first game of the series, unlike the other day. Just get the ball rolling."
SUPER SAM: Ex-Rays OF Sam Fuld was claimed off waivers by the Twins on Sunday, just in time for him to join Minnesota in its series at Tropicana Field through Thursday.
Fuld, a solid Rays contributor from 2011-13, was designated for assignment by the A's last week. He started the season with Oakland, having made the team out of camp while on a minor-league deal, and hit .200 in seven games.
"I'm excited to come back and see some familiar faces," Fuld said. "Despite this now being my fourth team, I've never faced an old team during the regular season, so I'm not really sure what to expect. I'm sure it'll be fun though."
BYE BARTLETT: Ben Zobrist said he exchanged text messages with ex-Rays SS Jason Bartlett recently after hearing he had suffered an ankle injury and went on the disabled list with the Twins. But Zobrist was surprised to hear that Bartlett, a Rays team MVP in their 2008 World Series season, is planning to retire.
Bartlett, attempting a comeback on a minor-league deal in spring training, made the team as a utility infielder before getting hurt and being sent on a rehab assignment to Fort Myers.
"He could definitely still play if he wanted to," Zobrist said. "He showed this spring he can still do it."
GETTING CLOSER: CF Desmond Jennings (groin) is expected to return to the lineup for his first start since Thursday, when he served as DH. He was limited to pinch-hitting duties over the weekend.
"Of course you want to be out every game," Jennings said. "It (stinks) not playing, but you got to go through it sometime."