As the trade deadline gets closer, David Price remains focused amid talk of an uncertain future with the Tampa Bay Rays.
In perhaps his final appearance for the only team he’s played for, the left-hander looks to win a seventh straight start and help the Rays sweep the visiting Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.
When Tampa Bay (53-54) endured a 1-14 stretch and was 24-42 on June 10, rumors of Price being dealt heated up. Though the Rays have won 29 of 41 since and can reach .500 for the first time since they were 10-10 on April 22, whether Price (11-7, 3.08 ERA) stays or goes remains unknown prior to Thursday afternoon’s deadline.
"I guess we’ll have some answers in the next couple of days and see how it goes," he told MLB’s official website.
Despite the rumors, Price has a 1.88 ERA with 82 strikeouts and 12 walks while winning seven of nine since going 4-5 with a 4.03 ERA in his first 13 outings. He gave up three runs and struck out 10 in eight innings of a 6-4 win over Boston on Friday.
"I’ll just continue to be the same person on the field every day," said Price, who has a 1.31 ERA during his career-best six-start winning stretch.
"This is what I love to do. I’m not going to let this stuff get me down," he added. "Just go out here and work hard. Try and give myself a chance to win every fifth day. And hopefully, it’s in a Rays uniform in two starts."
Price has allowed nine runs – four earned – and struck out 41 with three walks over 40 innings to go 2-1 in his last five interleague starts.
In his only appearance against the NL central-leading Brewers (59-49), who could possibly be in the trade mix for Price, he gave up two runs and struck out 10 in eight innings of a 6-3 victory in 2011.
Ben Zobrist homered and had a tiebreaking double as Tampa Bay scored four times in the eighth to win for the 11th time in 12 games, 5-1 on Tuesday.
"We knew that this is the team we could be in spring training," Zobrist said. "It just took a long time for it to show up."
Zobrist is 9 for 16 with two homers and four RBIs in five games since going 0 for 12 in the previous three.
With one run and three hits for a second straight night, Milwaukee has totaled two and 12 hits during a three-game skid. Ryan Braun is 0 for 11 during that stretch and 2 for 19 since batting .383 during a 12-game hitting streak.
Teammate Yovani Gallardo (5-5, 3.57) is 0-1 with a 4.14 ERA in six starts since winning at Arizona on June 19. However, the right-hander allowed four hits and struck out eight without a walk in 7 2-3 innings Friday, but closer Francisco Rodriguez gave up three runs in a 3-2 loss to the New York Mets.
"That was really good to see him throw like that," manager Ron Roenicke said of Gallardo, who gave up nine runs and four homers in 11 1-3 innings of the two previous starts.
Facing Tampa Bay for the first time, Gallardo is 1-0 with a 1.37 ERA in his last three interleague road starts.
Mark Reynolds is Milwaukee’s most experienced player against Price, going 7 for 29 with three homers and nine strikeouts.