David Price appears less concerned about engaging in a verbal spat and more focused on helping the Tampa Bay Rays end their longest skid in five seasons.
The Rays look to avoid a ninth consecutive defeat overall Wednesday night against the Miami Marlins as these Florida foes head to St. Petersburg to continue their four-game, home-and-home set.Price (4-4, 4.27 ERA) is 0-1 in his last three starts and allowed 11 runs in 14 2/3 innings of the first two before giving up two in seven innings of a 3-2, 10-inning loss at Boston on Friday. He also hit David Ortiz and Mike Carp, with the latter resulting in the dugouts clearing.It was the second bench-clearing incident in less than week between the clubs.Ortiz claimed "it's war," going forward with Price, who won't live in the past."I just want to get it behind me," he told the Rays' official website. "I'll focus in on my game (Wednesday)."Though Price is 2-2 with a 5.13 ERA in six home starts, he's 1-0 with an 0.74 ERA in his last three interleague outings. He hasn't faced the Marlins since 2011, going 1-2 with a 4.26 ERA against them, but allowed a run and two hits in 6 1/3 innings of a 5-2 win in his lone home appearance in 2009.The Rays (23-36) totaled eight hits Tuesday, but only one for extra bases and hit into three double plays during a 1-0 loss at Miami that concluded an 0-8 trip.Mired in its longest losing streak since dropping 11 in a row Sept. 3-13, 2009, Tampa Bay hit .180 while scoring six runs in the last six contests."We just have to keep going, keep fighting, stay positive through the tough times," said Evan Longoria, who has one RBI in his last 16 games.Things won't be easier without reigning AL Rookie of the Year Wil Myers, who is expected to miss more than six weeks with a wrist injury."The show has to go on," said teammate Ben Zobrist, who went 4 for 30 on the trip.A return home could benefit the Rays, who have won a season-high four straight there. They've averaged 6.0 runs while winning seven of eight versus the Marlins at Tropicana Field.Miami (30-28), however, has won five of seven on the road since starting 3-15.Giancarlo Stanton is batting .471 in his last 10 road games, but he's 1 for 17 with six strikeouts in his last four at Tropicana Field and 1 for 6 versus Price.Teammate Marcell Ozuna is batting .333 in his last 12 and .368 in six career games versus Tampa Bay.Though Miami's Tom Koehler (4-5, 3.18) has dropped two straight, he was better in his latest outing. A week after giving up seven runs in five innings of a 9-5 defeat to Milwaukee, he held Atlanta scoreless for five innings Friday but gave up three runs in the next two in a 3-2 loss."It comes down to doing all the little things right," Koehler told the Marlins' official website. "You've got to execute quality pitches throughout the whole game."The right-hander allowed four hits and struck out seven in seven innings of a 5-0 victory at San Francisco in his most recent road outing May 17.He gave up three runs in eight innings of a 3-1 home loss to Tampa Bay last season.Desmond Jennings is 3 for 19 with six strikeouts in his last six games but 2 for 2 with a walk versus Koehler.