White Sox-Rays Preview

After a strong return from his first career trip to the disabled

list, Tampa Bay’s David Price hopes he’s getting a fresh start to

the 2013 season.

Looking to win his fourth straight start against Chicago, the

reigning AL Cy Young Award winner tries to help the Rays complete

their first-ever series sweep of the lowly White Sox on Sunday.

Out since mid-May with a triceps strain, Price (2-4, 4.65 ERA)

allowed three hits and struck out 10 without a walk while throwing

70 pitches over seven innings of an 8-0 win at Houston on

Tuesday.

“That’s probably the best I’ve felt on a baseball field maybe in

my entire life, honestly,” said Price, who went 20-5 with a 2.56

ERA in 2012. “I felt like that’s the most control I’ve had of a

baseball game in a very long time. I think that was better than I

threw the ball really at any point last year.

“It’s huge for me, my confidence.”

In a way, Price felt his time on the DL proved to be somewhat

positive.

“Just letting me regroup with everything,” he told the Rays’

official website.

“The way the first nine starts went, it makes it kind of tough

to sleep at night. “That’s not me. I felt like I got back to myself

(Tuesday).”

Price’s other victory this season came at Chicago on April 28,

when he gave up three runs and struck out nine in seven innings of

an 8-3 win. He’s posted a 2.05 ERA during his three-start winning

streak against the White Sox.

After being named to the All-Star team, Tampa Bay’s Ben Zobrist

had two hits and Luke Scott delivered an RBI double as the Rays

(48-40) won their third straight, 3-0 on Saturday. Matt Moore

pitched 6 1-3 innings to best Chicago All-Star Chris Sale as the

Rays won for the seventh time in eight contests.

“We’re playing great right now,” Moore said.

The White Sox, outscored 29-10 during a four-game skid in the

series, have dropped 26 of 36.

Zobrist, 1 for 22 in five games prior to Saturday, has gone 7

for 13 in his last three against the White Sox. However, he’s 2 for

14 with seven strikeouts against John Danks (2-5, 4.38).

The left-hander snapped a three-game slide Tuesday, allowing two

runs in seven innings of a 5-2 win over Baltimore. He’s yielded

three earned runs in 14 1-3 innings over his last two starts.

“Definitely my last few, I’ve felt I’ve had command,” Danks told

the White Sox’s official website. “Just trying not to hurt myself.

Trying not to hurt guys, trying to keep the ball in the

ballpark.”

Including postseason, Danks has gone 6-3 with a 3.92 ERA in 10

starts against the Rays, last facing them in 2011.

White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham is 9 for 18 in July, and

is batting .409 in his last 12 games.

He’s hit .350 (7 for 20) in his past five at Tropicana Field,

but is 1 for 18 against Price.

Batting .406 during a 16-game hitting streak, Tampa Bay’s James

Loney is likely to be in the lineup after he was used as a late

defensive replacement Saturday.