LHP David Price hasn't had a ton of success against the Rangers heading into tonight's start.
But Price said the best moment of his career might have been the last time he faced Texas, a complete game Sept. 30 in a 5-2 Game 163 win that lifted the Rays into the playoffs.
"To be able to step up in that moment, that was probably the coolest one, I think, I've ever gotten," Price said Friday. "It, to me, was cooler than Game 7 (of the American League Championship Series against the Red Sox in 2008). ... (It) was cooler than pitching in the World Series to me. That was my game. That was fun. That was a very special night for myself and all my teammates."
Before that game, Price was 1-7 with a 5.57 ERA in 11 starts against Texas, including the postseason. While the Rangers' lineup has changed some - they traded 2B Ian Kinsler to the Tigers for 1B Prince Fielderand signed LF Shin-Soo Choo during the offseason - Price said they "can absolutely do some damage against you."
Price was sharp in his opening-day start, allowing two runs over 71/3 innings in a 9-2 win over Toronto. But he said he wants to do a better job of finishing hitters when they have two strikes, especially with two outs.
"Those are the times I want to be able to put my foot down and get us back in the dugout," Price said. "That's something I didn't feel like I did as well four days ago."
PROUD PAPA: INF Sean Rodriguez was back in the clubhouse - and in the lineup - one day after wife Giselle gave birth to their fourth child, 9-pound boy Zekiel Cruz. Rodriguez said it was a special moment, as were the births of his other children. He also said he believes his family is done expanding.
"I definitely got my infield down, first to third," he joked.
Rodriguez, who missed Thursday's game against the Blue Jays for the delivery (12:47 p.m. at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg), said he appreciated the Rays' support and was excited to be back. "I was watching the game (Thursday), and I missed being able to be there," he said. "It's a different view on TV as opposed to being out there."
1-FOR-1: Rays manager Joe Maddon successfully used his first challenge under the new replay system, preserving a sliding catch by RF Wil Myers in the seventh inning. With a runner on first and two outs, Myers raced in on C J.P. Arencibia's fly ball, sliding to make the catch. First-base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt ruled it a trap, but after Myers threw the ball in, the outfielder emphatically motioned to the Rays' dugout. Out came Maddon. Rays infielders and outfielders watched the replay on the JumboTron, and after a delay of 1 minute, 43 seconds, crew chief Jerry Layne ruled in the Rays' favor.
BOUNCE BACK: OF David DeJesus hadn't expected to test his bruised right foot so much Thursday in his return to the lineup, legging out a double and a triple in five at-bats. But DeJesus was pleased with how he felt Friday. "After all that pounding, (the foot) really responded well," he said.
MISCELLANY: RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo (right elbow surgery) will start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham. The hope is he'll return in mid April. ... Patrick Wilson, an actor, singer and Broadway performer who grew up in St. Petersburg, sang the national anthem. ... 3B Evan Longoria has joined Bright House Sports Network, the Rays and Ducky's sports lounge to donate $100 to Pet Pal Animal Shelter in St. Petersburg for every home run he hits this season. Longoria has raised $20,000 for Pet Pal over the past two seasons. ... OF Brandon Guyer made his first start of the season. ... X-rays on Texas LHP Joe Saunders, who left in the fourth after a Longoria liner struck his left ankle, were negative.