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Tampa Bay Rays' David Price cites lack of preparation for poor outing

NEW YORK — LHP David Price took the blame for his poor performance in Sunday's 9-5 loss, but it sure sounded like starting last week's All-Star Game was part of the problem.

"I can't blame that. I can only blame myself," Price said after allowing a season-high seven runs over five innings. "I didn't get myself prepared for this game like I should have. So it's time to get back to work."

Manager Joe Maddon said he noticed early that Price didn't look as comfortable as he typically does on the mound and wasn't as effective.

"David just did not have his best," Maddon said. "He didn't have that same comfortable look about him."

Price, 24, had a hectic Monday of commitments and pitched two innings (23 pitches) on Tuesday in Anaheim, flew to New York on Wednesday and spent Thursday's day off hanging around the city with friends. He said Saturday that he felt good physically but after Sunday's game suggested conditioning might have been the problem.

"My body, I just haven't gone about these last couple days like I should have, and it showed," he said. "So it's my fault."

C.C. REPORT: Even though Carl Crawford had two days off after the All-Star Game and the Rays have Thursday off, Maddon limited him to DH on Sunday, the third time he has done so in the Rays' past five games (two before the break).

Crawford was surprised when told late Saturday of the decision, saying his left shoulder — though still "a little bit" sore — wasn't the issue.

"It's getting better every day," he said.

Maddon said it was more a matter of general maintenance.

"I'm just trying to take care of him," Maddon said. "He's had a little bit of an arm issue. It's fine. Everything's well. Why push it?"

Crawford, while making it clear it was Maddon's decision, said he saw the benefit: "It's a good way to not only rest my shoulder, but to rest my legs, too."

KAP'S OFF: Veteran OF Gabe Kapler made a sensational catch at the rightfield wall on Friday but faced with another chance in leftfield Sunday misplayed Robinson Cano's drive into a two-run triple.

"I felt like I got a good jump on it. I had a good bead on it, and I went up for it. And the ball was just in a different place," Kapler said. "That happens at times. You judge a ball. You believe it to be where it's going to be, and the ball moves or tails a little bit and you miss it."

Kapler said it would have been more than "a routine play," but "it's a ball I pride myself that I have the ability to catch."

DETERMINED DAVIS: As his losing streak grew to five and questions about dropping him from the rotation mounted, rookie RHP Wade Davis maintained confidence he could rebound.

And after a win in his last start — his first in six weeks — Davis makes his first post-break start tonight in Baltimore determined to show he can win consistently down the stretch.

"Absolutely," he said. "I feel this is definitely the time to do it and get this team going."

WORTH NOTING: 1B Carlos Peña hit his seventh homer (among 20) off of a left-hander. It was his sixth off Andy Pettitte, the most by anyone off the Yankee veteran. … INF Reid Brignac on Saturday became the third Ray to have a multihomer game from the No. 9 spot in the order, according to the Society For American Baseball Research's David Vincent, joining Geoff Blum (2004) and Jared Sandberg (2002).

MISCELLANY: Price had held Yankees C Jorge Posada hitless in first 12 at-bats before Posada's two-run double in the fifth. … Maddon said he had no problem with Sean Rodriguez swinging at the 2-and-0 fastball he popped up with the bases loaded and one out in the third. … Top prospect RHP Jeremy Hellickson makes his first post All-Star Futures Game start tonight for Triple-A Durham.

Tampa Bay Rays' David Price cites lack of preparation for poor outing 07/18/10 [Last modified: Sunday, July 18, 2010 11:55pm]

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