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Rays' Price goes for win No. 14

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Published:   |   Updated: March 21, 2013 at 10:30 AM

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ST. PETERSBURG -

Three days after Matt Garza threw the Tampa Bay Rays' first no-hitter, LHP David Price will try to make some history of his own in today's series finale with the Tigers.

With two months left in the season, Price (13-5, 2.90 ERA) can tie the club record for wins in a season. James Shields and Edwin Jackson each won 14 games in 2008, and Rolando Arrojo did it in 1998.

Shields got his 14th win Sept. 23, Jackson on Sept. 28 and Arrojo on Sept. 15. Price has a chance to win his 14th in July, and with as many as a dozen starts remaining, he's within reach of 20 wins.

"My body feels good - my arms, legs, back, everything feels good right now," Price said. "So we'll go and try and do what we've been doing and look for positive results."

Price, who is tied for the AL lead in wins with New York's CC Sabathia and Minnesota's Carl Pavano, said he was inspired by Garza's 27-batter no-hitter Monday night but won't dwell on it entering his 20th start of the year.

"I've got to kind of focus on what I'm doing," Price said. "That was good. I thought he gave us a spark."

Zobrist leaves game

The Rays were already minus regular CF B.J. Upton when Ben Zobrist, who started there instead of his regular right field, left Wednesday's game before the fourth inning with lower back stiffness.

"It was just stiff after I made my second swing of the night in my second at-bat," Zobrist said. "I went out to center field, and it felt uncomfortable out there. They thought it be best to be careful with it.

"We'll see how it feels (this morning)."

Utility man Sean Rodriguez took over in center and as the leadoff hitter, and the Rays said Zobrist is day-to-day.

Upton left Tuesday's game in the first inning after rolling his left ankle. He took batting practice Wednesday and said he could return as early as Friday. Manager Joe Maddon said Saturday or Sunday is more realistic, although Upton could pinch-hit sooner.

Sellouts, or close

Is it a pennant race yet? It should feel like it this weekend when the AL East second-place Rays host the first-place Yankees. The Rays said Wednesday that fewer than 1,000 tickets remain for each of the three weekend games.

New York hasn't played at the Trop since April 9-11, when Tampa Bay dropped two of three. Those games drew crowds of 33,221, 29,892 and 31,253.

The pitching matchups have rookie Wade Davis (8-9) facing Phil Hughes (12-3) on Friday, Garza (11-5) going against Javier Vazquez (9-7) on Saturday and Shields (9-9) taking on ace Sabathia (13-4) on Sunday.

Tigers get help

The Tigers, reeling from injuries to OF Magglio Ordonez, 3B Brandon Inge and 2B Carlos Guillen, acquired 3B Jhonny Peralta from the Indians for minor-league LHP Giovanni Soto.

Peralta, who could be available for today's game, hit .246 with seven home runs and 46 RBIs in 92 games for the Indians.

Quiet on trade front

Maddon met with Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman before batting practice but said there was nothing new brewing on the trade front.

One potential deal may be fizzling out, given Wednesday's reports that the Phillies are no longer looking to trade RF Jayson Werth because CF Shane Victorino went on the DL.

Baltimore DH/1B Luke Scott and Washington LF Josh Willingham are two other players who have been mentioned in connection with the Rays.

Odds and ends

Tigers manager Jim Leyland served a one-game suspension Wednesday night. He was ejected during Monday's game after accidentally spraying second-base umpire Marty Foster with sunflower seeds while arguing a call. Leyland also was fined an undisclosed amount for what MLB called "inappropriate and aggressive" conduct. ... Dan Johnson isn't the only Johnson making noise at Triple-A Durham. RF Elliot Johnson is having a torrid month, hitting .388 entering Wednesday to raise his season average to .307.

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