With a starting rotation battered by injuries, the Tampa Bay Rays need David Price to be at his best.
Looking to help the Rays avoid a fourth consecutive defeat Thursday night, Price attempts to continue his success against CC Sabathia and the visiting New York Yankees, who are trying for a fifth straight win.
Two days after Tampa Bay (7-8) announced left-hander Matt Moore will undergo season-ending elbow surgery and join Alex Cobb (strained oblique) and Jeremy Hellickson (elbow) on the disabled list, Price (2-0, 2.91 ERA) will be counted on to end the Rays’ slide.
"You can’t go out there and add extra pressure, knowing that a couple of our other staff members have gone down right now, or whether or not we have kind of a light bullpen," Price told the Rays’ official website. "You definitely know the situation at hand. I don’t think applying added pressure to yourself does you any favors."
Price, who allowed a run, four hits and struck out 10 in 8 1-3 innings of a 2-1 win at Cincinnati on Friday, is 9-4 with a 3.66 ERA in 20 starts against the Yankees (9-6), including 4-1 with a 2.48 ERA in his last six.
This will be the 10th time he’s opposed Sabathia (1-2, 6.63), and the Rays have won eight of those matchups with Price going 6-1 with a 2.68 ERA.
Sabathia is 1-6 with a 6.11 ERA in his last eight starts against the Rays, and 0-5 with a 4.50 ERA in his past eight at Tropicana Field.
The left-hander has allowed five homers in three starts this season, including two and four runs in seven innings of a 4-2 loss to Boston on Friday.