Series: Game 3 of 3

Detroit won 2-1

Game 1: Tuesday, August 19
in 11
Tampa Bay6
Game 2: Wednesday, August 20
Tampa Bay0
Game 3: Thursday, August 21
Tampa Bay1

Tigers 0

(68-57, 35-28 away)

Rays 1

(62-65, 29-36 home)

    1:10 PM ET, August 21, 2014

    Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida 

    123456789 R H E
    DET 000000000 0 4 1
    TB 10000000 - 1 1 0

    W: A. Cobb (9-6)

    L: D. Price (12-9)

    S: J. McGee (14)

    Tigers-Rays Preview


    David Price admits he's not thrilled about facing the Tampa Bay Rays for the first time since they traded him to Detroit last month.

    While Price might have a difficult time harnessing his emotions Thursday at Tropicana Field, he'll try to remain focused on helping the Tigers complete a three-game sweep of his former team.

    Since arriving in Tampa this week, Price (12-8, 3.12 ERA) has played video games with his former teammates and received a standing ovation following a video presentation in his honor during Detroit's 8-6, 11-inning victory Tuesday.

    From September 2008 until the left-hander was dealt last month, Price went 82-47 with a 3.18 ERA in 175 games for Tampa Bay, helped the Rays (61-65) win the AL pennant as a reliever in 2008 and won the 2012 AL Cy Young Award.

    It's understandable he'd be nervous for this contest.

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

    "I spent a lot of time here. I built a lot of memories, made a lot of long-lasting friendships and stuff like that. Without Rays baseball, I'm not myself."

    Like those within the Rays organization and their fan base, Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon feels Price returned the favor.

    "(Price is) a big part of the Rays becoming the Rays," he said. "When he gets into the Hall of Fame, hopefully he goes in there as a Ray."

    Since the three-team trade July 31, Price is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA. The best of his three starts for Detroit (68-56) came Saturday when he allowed a run and three hits over eight innings and bested Felix Hernandez in a 4-2 victory over Seattle.

    "He's been what we'd hoped for," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said of Price. "He certainly has not disappointed."

    Price will oppose good friend Alex Cobb (8-6, 3.19), who still has a hard time grasping that the longtime face of the Rays franchise is no longer in town.

    "It's just weird. The normal is not the normal anymore," Cobb said. "It's just something you don't want to get used to, but you do eventually get used to it."

    While Price will be the focal point Thursday, Cobb has been stellar while going 6-0 with a 2.24 ERA in his last nine starts. The right-hander has allowed four runs and struck out 40 while walking seven in 34 innings to go 3-0 in the last five.

    Cobb gave up six hits and fanned eight in 7 1/3 innings of a 5-0 victory over the New York Yankees on Friday.

    He allowed three runs and five hits over five-plus innings in a 6-3 win at Comerica Park on July 4 to improve to 1-1 with a 3.04 ERA in four starts against the Tigers.

    Victor Martinez is 2 for 8 against Cobb, but is hitting .429 with two homers and nine RBIs in his last six games versus Tampa Bay. Martinez hit a grand slam and drove in five while Rick Porcello tossed a three-hitter in Wednesday's 6-0 victory.

    A winner in five of seven following a 2-7 stretch, Detroit is trying for its first series sweep at Tampa Bay since 2009.

    Though the Rays have dropped four in a row, Ben Zobrist is batting .426 during a 14-game home hitting streak. He's 11 for 22 in the last five against the Tigers overall.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

     DetroitTampa Bay
    Current StreakW1L1
    Last 106-43-7

    Pitching Matchup

    DetroitTampa Bay
    D. Price
    15-12, 3.26 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/28 vs MIN
    7.1 IP, 0 ER
    Dec = Win
    A. Cobb
    10-9, 2.87 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/28 at CLE
    6.0 IP, 4 ER
    Dec = Loss

    Gameday Lineups

    NO.DetroitTampa Bay
    1. I. Kinsler, 2B D. Jennings, CF
    2. T. Hunter, RF B. Zobrist, LF
    3. M. Cabrera, DH B. Guyer, LF
    4. V. Martinez, 1B E. Longoria, 3B
    5. J. Martinez, LF W. Myers, DH
    6. N. Castellanos, 3B S. Rodriguez, 1B
    7. A. Avila, C Y. Escobar, SS
    8. E. Suarez, SS C. Casali, C
    9. R. Davis, CF L. Forsythe, 2B

    Research Notes

    Opponents are hitting .224 against David Price's fastball/cutter, tied for the second-lowest mark in MLB. The Rays are batting .272 against such pitches this season, which ranks 14th in MLB.
    So David Price threw a complete game 1-hitter at Tropicana Field in his first start as a visitor, something he NEVER did in 84 starts for the Rays at the Trop. Price became just the 7th player to throw a complete game with 1 or fewer hits allowed in the park's history, but is the ONLY player to record a loss after such a performance.
    David Price is just the third pitcher in the last 100 seasons to strike out at least 9 batters in a 1-hitter that he lost.
    From Elias: David Price is the first pitcher to throw a complete game one-hitter in his first appearance vs. his former team since Chris Carpenter of the Cardinals threw one against the Blue Jays in 2005. They are the only two pitchers to do so in the divisional era
    David Price has lasted at least 7 innings in 16 of his past 17 starts and he leads the league in IP per start (almost 7 1/2). And he's lasted 8 innings in 15 starts this season, 4 more than any other pitcher in baseball.

    ESPN Stats & Information