American League Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, July 30th (All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (53-49) at Oakland Athletics (55-46), 10:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - David Price (14-4, 2.57) Oakland - A.J. Griffin (3-0, 2.25)
(Sports Network) - David Price tries to become the majors' first 15-game winner on Monday when the Tampa Bay Rays open a three-game set with the Oakland Athletics at the Coliseum.
Price has been magnificent of late and has won his last three starts, his last six decisions and has just one loss in his previous 10 assignments (8-1). His most recent win came on Wednesday in Baltimore, as he held the Orioles to a run and seven hits in seven innings.
He also struck out 10 batters without issuing a walk.
"At the end of the day, it's always about starting pitching," Tampa manager Joe Maddon said after that start. "I thought David was really sharp tonight."
Price beat the A's back on May 4 and is 2-1 in five starts against them with a 3.62 ERA.
The left-hander will try to become just the latest Rays hurler to throw a gem, as Tampa enters this series on the heels of back-to-back shutouts over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, including a 2-0 win on Sunday to capture the series.
In fact Tampa pitchers have surrendered just 18 runs over the last 10 games. However, the Rays have been held to three runs or less in seven of their last eight contests.
The series win in Anaheim got the Rays to within two games of the Angels for the second wild card spot. They can get even closer this week, as the A's sit a half-game in front of the Halos for the first wild card.
"They have the best starting pitching in the American League and their bullpen is one of the best, as well," Price said. "They throw well, play good defense, and they've got some guys who are stepping up in that lineup right now."
Oakland is 18-4 this month after taking two of three in both Toronto and Baltimore, and are just one win shy of clinching the best July in franchise history.
"The way we've been playing, it looks like we've got a chance to win every game," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said after Sunday's 6-1 loss to the Orioles. "But boy, any time during the season you can go on the road and take four out of six from two very good teams, we'll take it."
Getting the call for Melvin's club tonight will be rookie right-hander A.J. Griffin, who has won his last three starts. Griffin beat the Blue Jays on Wednesday, as he scattered three hits over six scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 2.25.
He has gone six innings in each of his six career starts, and hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of them.
Oakland took two of three from the Rays earlier in the year.
07/30 10:38:26 ET