St. Petersburg, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Despite being irked by trade rumors, ace starter David Price came within two outs from a shutout as the Tampa Bay Rays crushed the Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-1, Thursday at Tropicana Field.
Price (6-7) was cruising through the first eight innings before giving up a long ball to Andrew McCutchen in the ninth. He allowed five hits with one walk and recorded 11 strikeouts to win at home for the first time in more than a month.
Kevin Kiermaier drove in two runs while Ben Zobrist had two hits and scored two runs to help the Rays avoid a three-game sweep, improving their record to 32-48.
Charlie Morton (4-9) took the loss after giving up three runs – two earned – on four hits with a walk and 11 strikeouts for the Pirates (39-39).
Price, who leads the American League with 144 strikeouts, admitted that trade rumors have started to annoy him.
“I mean, obviously I think about it,” said Price. “That’s why I’ve been in a bad mood the last week and a half. I think about it. You guys know that. And it’s nothing I really want to talk about.
“I don’t have an answer for you guys. I don’t know where I’m going. I don’t know when I’m going. So there’s nothing I can really comment on,” he added.
Sources believe the Rays will try to move the former Cy Young Award winner soon before the MLB trade deadline on July 31.
Rays manager Joe Maddon understands how the rumors can be bothersome to Price, but told reporters “there’s nothing I can say that is going to make him feel better, I doubt that.”
“He needs to feel my support all the time, and I hope he does,” Maddon said. “Beyond all that, part of this is it’s a business, and sometimes when you get caught up in the business component, it makes it uncomfortable.”