With David Price opposing a rookie right-hander for the Los
Angeles Angels on Monday night, the Tampa Bay Rays had a decided
edge on the mound in their series opener in Anaheim.
The opposite should be the case Tuesday night.
Rays rookie Alex Cobb gets the ball against three-time All-Star
Dan Haren, who is good to go after having his most recent start
pushed back from Saturday due to tightness in his lower back.
Price has had his ups and downs this season, but the former No.
1 overall draft pick put together consecutive strong outings coming
into Monday’s start.
After getting hit hard by the Angels in late April, Price
bounced back – and helped the Rays (31-29) do the same. The
left-hander held Los Angeles (30-32) to a run over seven innings
and Tampa Bay erased the memories of losing three of four in
Seattle by winning 5-1 despite missing Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton
to the flu.
“Whenever we have some of our big players out, you know you got
to step up,” Price said.
Haren (5-3, 2.29 ERA) tries to do the same Tuesday as the Angels
look to avoid dropping a fourth straight game, a skid that began in
a game the right-hander was originally supposed to start.
Haren, who has received the lowest run-support average (2.40) in
the AL, was slated to pitch against the Yankees on Saturday. But he
didn’t get the chance to build on his first win since mid-April, a
6-5 victory over the Twins on May 29 when he allowed three runs
over six innings.
Haren suffered lower back tightness during a bullpen session
Wednesday at Kansas City that kept him out Saturday, but threw 30
pitches prior to Sunday’s game and reported no issues.
“When it happened, I thought I was going to be down for a while.
It was pretty painful,” Haren told the Angels’ official website. “I
worked hard and the training staff got on me good. It’s progressed
To Haren, there’s a big difference between having a start pushed
back and missing it entirely. He has a major league-leading streak
of 215 consecutive starts made since 2005.
“It’s not really about any streak, it’s just about getting out
there,” Haren said. “Baseball is the ultimate team sport. I do no
good sitting here in the training room and sitting on the
The Rays certainly wish he had to push it back a few more days.
Haren is 6-2 with a 2.57 ERA in 10 starts versus Tampa Bay, and he
held manager Joe Maddon’s team to a run over 7 2-3 innings in a 5-1
win at Tropicana Field on April 6.
He might get a break Tuesday if Longoria and Upton can’t return.
Their status for the remainder of the series is uncertain, and
Maddon said Reid Brignac and Sean Rodriguez weren’t feeling well
during Monday’s game, either.
Upton is 8 for 23 with three homers against Haren.
Cobb (0-0, 5.91) counters for Tampa Bay after making his major
league debut against the Angels on May 1. The righty gave up four
runs, four hits, four walks over 4 1-3 innings and was apparently
tipping his pitches before leaving without a decision in a 6-5
After spending the rest of the month in the minors, Cobb held
Texas to three runs over 6 1-3 innings on May 29.
Angels outfielder Vernon Wells, who was hitting .183 when he
went on the disabled list May 10 with a right groin injury, could