The All-Star left-hander hopes for another solid outing Saturday night to help the Rays avoid a fifth consecutive road loss to the Athletics, who have won four in a row.
In his only previous appearance against the A’s, Price (15-5, 2.85 ERA) gave up a run and three hits while striking out six in 7 2-3 innings of a 4-1 on May 7.
Since that victory, the Rays (74-48) have dropped four in a row at Oakland, including 5-4 on Friday. However, they have a good chance to end that skid with help from Price, who is 3-0 with a 2.87 ERA in his last five starts since losing at Yankee Stadium on July 18.
Starting pitching has not been the main issue through the first two games of this series for the Rays, who have blown a pair of late leads to drop two straight after winning five in a row. Tampa Bay remains one game behind the Yankees in the AL East, but has a 5 1/2-game lead in the wild card.
Ben Zobrist’s(notes) error on a Pennington grounder with two outs in the eighth allowed the go-ahead run to score and helped put the A’s (61-60) in position to match a season high with a fifth straight victory.
“Obviously, we know what Tampa’s done this season, and that this would be a good test to see where we stand,” said Craig Breslow(notes), who earned his second save Friday. “I think we’ve shown we can play with anybody.”
Pennington, who drove in the winning run in each of the previous two games, had two hits Friday. He is 11 for 25 with six RBIs in seven games against the Rays this season.
That might not bode well for the Rays, when they face Oakland’s Brett Anderson(notes) (3-4, 2.89) on Saturday. Anderson, who hopes for some run support as he tries to avoid losing his third straight start, is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in two starts versus Tampa Bay - both on the road last season.
The left-hander is 1-3 with a 3.55 ERA since returning from the disabled list with elbow inflammation, but the A’s have totaled one run over his last two starts. He allowed three runs in six innings of a 3-1 loss to Toronto on Monday.
“On a day where your stuff is just OK, you’ll take that as a pitcher,” Anderson told the Athletics’ official website. “You just got to take what they give you and go from there.”
Tampa Bay’s Carlos Pena is 2 for 5 with a double and home run against Anderson, but 4 for 24 in his last seven games after going 0 for 3 on Friday.