CHICAGO — LHP David Price isn't used to this. Two losses as part of the Rays' 0-6 start this season, four straight going back to last year's playoffs, and feeling like he has been out-pitched each time.
"I know I have to pitch better, period," Price said. "I don't care if we're hitting or not. I want to pitch better than I'm pitching right now. It's something I have to work on and in five days get back out there."
Acknowledging the 39-degree first-pitch temperature was a factor, though his arms were mostly bare because he doesn't like pitching in long sleeves, Price didn't pitch badly. He allowed only three runs despite nine hits, a walk and two hit batters.
"He pitched well enough to win," manager Joe Maddon said. "I thought David was pretty good, but he was not as good as Edwin was."
That would be Edwin Jackson, the former Ray traded to Detroit for Matt Joyce then moved to the Diamondbacks and White Sox.
Leading with a nastier-than-normal slider, Jackson was sharper Thursday than when he no-hit the Rays on June 25, 2010, allowing one hit into the seventh and four total while striking out a career-high 13 (two in each of the first five innings).
"A beast out there," Rays DH Johnny Damon said.
Maddon said: "It does not surprise me that he's turning out to be this good."
Jackson improved to 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA in three starts against the Rays since being traded, but he insists he treats them no differently. "I look at everyone the same, whether it was a former team or team I didn't play on," he said. "The main objective is to go out and win and try to dominate if possible."
MANNY MATTERS: Maddon said he was sure Manny Ramirez would rejoin the team today after missing Thursday's game due to a "family matter."
What Maddon didn't know is whether Ramirez, who skipped the exhibition finale to go home to South Florida for something he said involved his kids, would miss any other games.
"It's something we were aware of, and it just happened to be (Thursday) and it was unavoidable," Maddon said. "… It's one of those things, I think it might be over, but you'd have to ask him if he wants to speak to it."
COOL GUYS: Because of the cold, equipment/clubhouse manager Chris Westmoreland was handing out provisions: ski caps, gloves, sweatshirts, thermal underwear, ski masks and Maddon's favorite, the "Elmer Fudd" cap with ear flaps.
MINOR MATTERS: Triple-A Durham's Richard De Los Santos took a 2-1 loss at Gwinnett, allowing two earned runs on four hits over four innings. … Double-A Montgomery's Matt Moore allowed two hits and one earned run over five innings with seven strikeouts in a 1-0 loss vs. Birmingham. … Class A Charlotte's Jake Thompson went 4 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits, in a 3-2 no-decision vs. Bradenton. … Class A Bowling Green's Enny Romero struck out eight and allowed one hit over five innings in a 4-0 victory at Dayton.
MISCELLANY: B.J. Upton extended his career-best hitting streak to include all six games.