ST. PETERSBURG — David Price has bigger problems than blurry vision and a stuffy nose from severe allergies.
The Rays ace and reigning AL Cy Young Award winner walked slowly off the mound during the third inning of Wednesday's 9-2 loss to Boston, his $10 million left arm idled by what the Rays said was a triceps strain.
Price had thrown 57 pitches in the game, including 10 that clocked in at 95 mph. But after his last pitch, a 95 mph fastball that David Ortiz slapped down the third-base line, Rays manager Joe Maddon, pitching coach Jim Hickey and athletic trainer Ron Porterfield went to the mound.
There were several minutes of discussion, though it appeared Porterfield did most of the talking, and then Price, without even trying to throw another pitch, left, which suggests it might have been a known issue rather than a surprise. One TV shot showed Price clenching his fist.
Afterward, Maddon said Price already had an MRI exam. "Nothing seems to be serious," Maddon said.
The triceps is a muscle on the back side of the upper arm, obviously integral to pitching. Toronto's Josh Johnson has been sidelined since late April with triceps soreness and isn't expected back until sometime in June.
Though Price had struggled during much of this season, and his velocity often was down several miles an hour, he repeatedly insisted his arm felt fine.
Before his May 9 start, Price did say: "Every time you go out there and pitch you're going to have something that doesn't feel 100 percent, and that's every guy in the league, no matter how well or how bad they're throwing. Whenever you're out there there's something that will be bothering you that day and you're just going to have to roll with it. I feel good out there on the mound, absolutely."
Asked if that meant something was bothering him, Price said, "No, my arm feels fine, my arm feels good."
On Tuesday, he acknowledged what now sounds like a minor problem, that he had been suffering from severe allergy issues, including occasional blurry vision that caused him to step off the mound at times because he couldn't see the signs. He had been to an allergist Tuesday and given eye drops that he said seemed to help.
Price's next scheduled start is Monday in Toronto, and the Rays would have two potential replacements at Triple-A Durham. Most likely might be Jake Odorizzi. The other is Chris Archer, who is supposed to start tonight.
The game and what had been a six-game winning streak, got away from the Rays (20-19) at the same time Price left, as the Red Sox scored eight runs in the third, including a grand slam by Stephen Drew, before a Trop gathering of 15,767.
Price started the mess, walking Drew then allowing a single to Jacoby Ellsbury. A one-out single by Dustin Pedroia scored the first run, then another single by David Ortiz made it 2-0.
Jamey Wright came in cold to replace Price, and it didn't go well, giving up hits to four of the first five batters he faced.
A double by Mike Napoli made it 3-0 and a single by ex-Ray Jonny Gomes 4-0, then after a flyout and a walk, Drew hit one out to right to make it 8-0.