Price will be on the mound for Sunday's series finale between the Braves and Rays. But Jones will likely sit out a second straight game with a left calf contusion suffered in Friday's 5-3 win. Right-hander Tim Hudson will take the ball for Atlanta, looking for the series victory after the Braves lost, 5-2, on Saturday.
"It stinks. He's swinging the bat well for them right now," said Price of Jones, who went 1-for-3 with a double in one career game against the Rays left-hander. "It's pretty impressive in his farewell tour. Hopefully, he comes back from that feeling good."
Price will have his hands full, even without Jones, as the Braves' lineup has been surprisingly dominant so far this season. Michael Bourn has set the table atop the order, Martin Prado has enjoyed a strong bounce-back season and the middle-of-the-order thumpers have done their jobs, as well.
"This is an American League lineup right here. I was talking about that on the way out [on Friday]," Price said. "They're one through nine [on Friday] swinging the bat, this is a very good hitting team."
But Price feels good about the way he's been pitching lately, and he has plenty of reason to. He has thrown at least six innings in his last five starts, and he's pitched to a 3.10 ERA on the year. That number has climbed over his past two outings, but he picked up a win on Tuesday in Toronto by allowing three runs over seven innings, while striking out six.
Hudson has calmed down after a rough outing in Colorado on May 4, allowing only three runs on 14 hits and two walks over his last 14 innings spanning two starts. Hudson will look for more of the same against the Rays, as he becomes further removed from offseason back surgery.
"I'm feeling better each time out," Hudson said on Tuesday. "Each week that passes by, I get a little more healthy. I'm not really concerned with it. I feel like I'm feeling better than I have in a really long time, from a health standpoint."
Braves: Jones not undergoing tests
While Jones' bruise appeared bad enough to suggest further injury, the third baseman said he wouldn't undergo X-rays or an MRI.
"It's fine," he said. "I'd know if I needed one."
Hudson has held current Rays hitters to a .623 OPS in 68 plate appearances, more than half of which have come against Jeff Keppinger and Carlos Pena. Keppinger has had some success, batting 9-for-17 (.529) with a double.
Rays: Injury updates
The Rays' walking wounded continue to make progress. Desmond Jennings (sprained left knee) said he felt great, and the Rays don't anticipate him staying on the disabled list much longer than his allotted 15 days. Prior to going on the DL, he had been taking a lot of swings and working with hitting coach Derek Shelton. Whether he needs a rehab assignment is to be determined.
Infielder Will Rhymes, who fainted on the field on Wednesday night after suffering a nasty bruise on his forearm, was back in the starting lineup on Saturday.
Ever the showman in pregame pitchers' batting practice, Price was asked on Saturday if he would like the opportunity to hit in a game at Tropicana Field. Surprisingly, Price said no.
"The Trop's a graveyard," Price said. "I'm out there leaning back on balls and they're hitting the warning track. I don't want to hit here at the Trop. That'd be pretty cool to get to hit in front of the home fans and have a different scene going on at the Trop, but I don't want to hit here. Our DHs are good."
The Rays' Sunday broadcast on Sun Sports will have a sabermetrics theme. Injured outfielder Sam Fuld will join Dewayne Staats and Brian Anderson in the booth to discuss some of the advanced metrics gaining popularity in the front office, media and clubhouse.
The Braves have the best winning percentage in the Majors since April 10.