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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, August 21 (All times Eastern)

Detroit Tigers (68-56) at Tampa Bay Rays (61-65), 1:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - David Price (12-8, 3.12) Tampa Bay - Alex Cobb (8-6, 3.19)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Already thrust into the middle of an intense playoff race, Detroit hurler David Price has conceded he may have trouble focusing against his former team on Thursday night.

The Tampa Bay Rays offense can't be too happy to see him on the mound either.

Price will square off against his former teammates on Thursday afternoon looking to pitch the Tigers to a three-game sweep of the Rays.

The left-handed Price gets the call for the finale less than a month after getting traded from the only franchise he had ever known. The Rays took Price first overall in 2007 and he went 82-47 with the club in 175 appearances, all but five of those starts, logging a 3.18 earned run average. He made four All- Star teams with the club and won the Cy Young Award in 2012.

With Price arbitration eligible this upcoming offseason, the Rays made the difficult choice to deal him prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline in a three-team deal that netted the Tampa Bay starter Drew Smyly and minor leaguer Willy Adames from the Tigers as well as infielder Nick Franklin from the Seattle Mariners.

Now his fourth start with the Tigers will see him quickly facing off against his former team.

"Pitching against friends is always the worst," Price told Detroit's official website. "I'm definitely going to have to be a little bit more focused on Thursday."

Price, who turns 29 on Tuesday, was 11-8 with a 3.11 earned run average before getting dealt to the Tigers and he allowed seven runs over 14 2/3 innings while striking out 16 in his first two outings with Detroit, both no- decisions.

Price then made his home debut with the Tigers on Saturday and got the win over Seattle, yielding a run on three hits and three walks while striking out seven in eight innings of work.

"I'm a little bit nervous before every start, it doesn't matter how many are in the stands or what level of baseball it is," said Price. "I love this game, and I feel like if you're not a little bit nervous before you probably don't have a pulse. It was a great atmosphere. It was fun and I enjoyed it."

Alex Cobb will start for the Rays looking to avoid his first loss since June 23. The righty is 6-0 in nine starts since with a 2.24 ERA, posting the longest winning streak of his career. Cobb also has tied a franchise record by allowing two runs or fewer in seven consecutive starts.

Cobb is coming off a 5-0 win over the New York Yankees on Friday, when he allowed six hits -- all singles -- and one walk in 7 1/3 scoreless innings. The 26-year-old also struck out eight in moving to 8-6 with a 3.19 ERA on the year.

He faced the Tigers on July 4 for the second time in his career and picked up a victory while logging five innings of three-run ball.

The Rays won three of four in that set in Detroit from July 3-6, but have lost the first two of this series. That includes a 6-0 defeat last night.

Rick Porcello won his 14th game of the campaign, scattering three hits during his third shutout of the season. He retired 20 straight batters at one point.

Victor Martinez provided a grand slam and five RBI, while Ian Kinsler drove in the other run for the Tigers, who have won five of the last seven games.

"Obviously Porcello was the big factor in this game. We can't ask for anything more," said Detroit manager Brad Ausmus. "Of course, the big grand slam from Victor was that big hit we've talked about in the past."

The victory moved Detroit one game ahead of Seattle for the second wild card spot in the American League and also pulled the club within a game of Kansas City for first place in the AL Central.

Jake Odorizzi allowed three runs on five hits with a pair of walks and seven strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings for the Rays, who have lost four straight.

"We usually play a lot better at home but it's been the opposite this year," said Odorizzi. "It's getting to that time of the year where you can't lose this many games in a row when you're trying to make a comeback."

The Rays activated outfielder Wil Myers, the reigning AL Rookie of the Year, from the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday. He went 0-for-3 as the designated hitter.

The Tigers haven't swept the Rays since a three-game series on the road from Sept. 4-6, 2009.

08/21 10:22:55 ET

TV
  • NCAA: Division II Championship: Indiana (Pa.) vs. Florida Southern

    Today at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NCAAT: Louisville v. Michigan State

    Tomorrow at 2:20 am on WRAL-TV

  • NCAAT: Duke v. Gonzaga

    Tomorrow at 5:05 pm on WRAL-TV

Scoreboard
Local
Final
WAS 110
CHA 107
Final
LOU 75
NCSU 65
Final
DUKE 63
UTAH 57
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ATL
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
NJD
 
Final
ATL 4
BOS 2
Final
STL 5
NYM 4
Final
PHI 0
NYY 10
Final
MIN 2
PIT 4
Final
WAS 1
STL 1
4th
BAL 0
TAM 0
 
Final
TOR 4
DET 1
Final
CHC 6
CWS 3
Final
OAK 7
TEX 6
Final
ANA 2
ARI 7
Final
ARI 3
CLE 2
6:05pm Friday
HOU 0
MIA 0
 
Final
KAN 5
SEA 1
Final
SDP 7
COL 5
Final
CIN 6
MIL 8
Final
LOS 4
SFG 8
1:05pm Today
NYY
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
HOU
 
1:05pm Today
MIN
PHI
 
1:05pm Today
DET
STL
 
1:05pm Today
PIT
TOR
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
ATL
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
WAS
 
4:05pm Today
CIN
CHC
 
4:05pm Today
MIL
CLE
 
4:05pm Today
CHC
COL
 
4:05pm Today
CWS
OAK
 
4:05pm Today
TEX
SDP
 
4:05pm Today
SEA
SFG
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
KAN
 
4:10pm Today
ANA
LOS
 
Final
WAS 110
CHA 107
Final
ORL 97
DET 111
Final
PHI 98
LAC 119
Final
NYK 92
BOS 96
Final
BRK 106
CLE 98
Final
TOR 94
LAL 83
Final
ATL 99
MIA 86
Final
MEM 84
GSW 107
Final
HOU 120
MIN 110
Final
NOP 102
SAC 88
Final
SAN 94
DAL 76
Final
DEN 107
UTA 91
Final
PHO 81
POR 87
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
ATL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NYK
 
8:30pm Tonight
MIL
GSW
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
OKC
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
DEN
 
Final
GONZ 74
UCLA 62
Final
LOU 75
NCSU 65
Final
DUKE 63
UTAH 57
Final
NARZ 74
KSU 73
Final
OKLA 58
MSU 62
6:09pm Tonight
WISC
ARZ
 
7:30pm Tonight
YALE
CAN
 
8:49pm Tonight
KENT
ND
 
Final
MIN 4
CAL 2
Final
CHI 2
CLB 5
Final
EDM 4
DAL 0
12:30pm Today
WAS
NAS
 
1:00pm Today
NYI
ANA
 
1:00pm Today
PIT
ARI
 
1:00pm Today
BOS
NYR
 
1:00pm Today
PHI
SJS
 
2:00pm Today
DET
TAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
MON
FLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
NJD
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CLB
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
BUF
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
DAL