Tampa Bay Rays reliever Fernando Rodney has a perfect scenario in mind for next week's All-Star game.
"He's a good teammate,'' Rodney said of starting pitcher and fellow All-Star David Price, who will accompany him to Kansas City for the July 10 matchup against the best players from the National League. "Maybe he'll throw a couple of innings and I'd like to pitch behind him.''
So Price gets the win and Rodney gets the save?
"That's right,'' he said with a grin.
Price, who registered his 11th win Friday night while lowering his ERA to 2.92, made the American League team for the third time while Rodney earned his first All-Star berth.
Both players were informed of the honor before Sunday's 5-3 loss to Detroit.
"It definitely feels good and Fernando is well deserved,'' said Price, who started the 2010 All-Star game. "He's done everything we've asked and more. If he didn't make it, that would have been a huge mistake. I feel privileged to go.''
At age 35, Rodney is the oldest first-time All-Star in Rays history.
Price, 26, joins CC Sabathia of the Yankees and Detroit's Justin Verlander as the only AL pitchers to make the All-Star team in each of the past three seasons.
"It's fitting for both of them,'' Rays infielder Sean Rodriguez said. "Price is one of our horses and Rodney's been lights out for us. You feel confident anytime Price is on the mound and when Rodney comes in, it's over.''
Rodney, the 12th different Tampa Bay player to make the All-Star team since 2008, boasts 22 saves and has yielded only 22 hits and five walks in 352/3 innings.
Price strained his lower back in Friday's win but threw without discomfort in the bullpen before Sunday's game and declared himself ready to make his next scheduled start Wednesday afternoon against the Yankees.
"We've played exceptionally well whenever I've pitched,'' Price said. "Hands down, we've had the most web gems behind me of any pitcher on our squad. We've also gotten key hits in big positions. That's why I'm here.''
Rodney was signed as a free agent in January and became the ninth player acquired by Tampa Bay through free agency, draft or trade to make his first All-Star team with the Rays.
"I say thank you to (manager) Joe Maddon for giving me the opportunity to be the closer this year,'' Rodney said. "It's going to be something for all my family. It's something sweet, something I'm never going to forget.''