KANSAS CITY, Mo. — American League All-Star manager Ron Washington wanted Detroit's Justin Verlander to start tonight's game. That much seems obvious.
Less clear is how much of a shot Rays lefty David Price had for the honor.
Washington said after Monday's announcement that a request by the Rays to limit Price to one inning factored into his decision.
"I wanted the guy who started the game to be able to go two," said Washington, also the Rangers manager. "And I talked with Tampa. They only wanted Price to go one. That played into it."
But Price said — and tweeted — that wasn't true, as did the Rays and he was ready, willing and available to start and work two innings.
"He really said that? That's pretty funny," Price said. "We said if I did not start, then I was only throwing one. If I started, I would throw two innings."
Washington acknowledged even if he thought he could have used Price for two innings, "I don't know if it would have been tougher" to decide between him and Verlander.
"Justin is a big-time pitcher," Washington said. "He's been a big-time pitcher for many years. And I couldn't pass up the opportunity to, hopefully, watch him go out there and throw up two zeros right off the bat."
Price is tied with Texas' Matt Harrison for the league lead in wins at 11-4 and fifth with a 2.82 ERA. Verlander, last year's AL Cy Young and MVP, is 9-5 and fourth with a 2.58 ERA.
Price is still scheduled to pitch, expected to follow Verlander, though Washington said the game situation ultimately will be a factor in how he uses the rest of the staff.