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Price fans eight over five innings in win

Tampa Bay will be visiting Washington for the first time starting Tuesday, but Rays manager Joe Maddon is plenty familiar with the Nationals.

Maddon was Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo's manager for the 1982 Salem Angels, who won the Northwest League Class A championship. He said he has a lot of respect for the group Rizzo assembled, especially since adding rookie sensation Bryce Harper.

"Since Harper's been up there, he's probably added a lot of energy to their group," Maddon said. "They have other really nice players, but he's been one of the better players in baseball. Their pitching staff is outstanding. We're gonna see really good pitching."

The 19-year-old is hitting .294 with seven homers and is set to go up against a fellow former No. 1 overall Draft pick in the Rays' David Price.

Price, who is 8-4 with a 3.01 ERA, said he's been impressed with what Harper's done in his time in the Majors.

"I feel like he's handling himself very well," Price said. "He's doing a great job of composing himself in the big leagues, and he's having some success, and I wish him the best."

Washington will send Chien-Ming Wang to the mound opposite Price, and he has a 2-2 record and 4.67 ERA this season. He picked up a win over Toronto in his last start, going five innings and allowing two runs on four hits and five walks.

Rays: Pitching continues dominant stretch
• Tampa Bay pitching has overpowered opponents as of late and has allowed just one earned run in the last 32 innings, good for a 0.27 ERA.

• On Sunday, the Rays made short work of the Marlins' lineup by not allowing a run and giving up just two hits and a walk to go along with 14 strikeouts.

Nationals: Lidge designated for assignment
• Washington announced before Sunday's game against the Yankees that reliever Brad Lidge was designated for assignment.

In 11 appearances with the Nationals, Lidge posted a 9.64 ERA, and he allowed two runs in two-thirds of an inning in a loss Saturday.

• Righty Ryan Mattheus was activated from the 15-day disabled list to fill Lidge's roster space. He has a 2.21 ERA in 20 games this season.

Mattheus pitched one-third of an inning Sunday, walking Andruw Jones and forcing Chris Stewart into a groundout.

Worth noting
• After going 0-for-7 on Saturday, Harper responded Sunday by going 2-for-4, including a double.

• Carlos Pena has four hits in his last two games after having four hits in his previous 13 games. Comments