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TB@CWS: Price talks to FOX about Rays' playoff push

David Price can pitch the Rays to a much-needed victory on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field. If the left-hander reaches a personal milestone in the process, all the better.

Tampa Bay has been staging a furious rally in the American League Wild Card standings, but has a lot of work left to do, starting with its series finale against the White Sox. Price sits one win away from his career-high 20th, which also would help his case for an AL Cy Young Award.

"The biggest thing for us right now is winning games," Price said. "If I get my 20th win, that means that the Rays won and that's the most important thing."

Tampa Bay has won two of the first three games in Chicago and nine of 10 overall, but is still three behind Oakland and Baltimore for an AL Wild Card spot. The Rays also are a half-game back of the Angels.

The White Sox, who will counter Price with rookie left-hander Jose Quintana, also need a rally over the season's final four contests. They have lost nine of 11 and trail the Tigers by two in the AL Central.

On Sunday, they must contend with Price (19-5), who leads the Majors with a 2.56 ERA and can tie Jered Weaver for the AL's top spot in wins in his final regular-season outing. The 27-year-old also won 19 in 2010, when he finished second in the AL Cy Young voting.

Price comes into this outing on an extended roll, having allowed two earned runs or fewer in 13 of his last 16 starts. He has a 2.14 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 113 1/3 innings over that span. On Tuesday at Boston, he struck out a season-best 13 and walked none in a two-run complete game.

"That's the best my secondary stuff has ever been," Price said. "That's the most curveballs I've ever thrown. The most effective my changeup has been. That makes everything else that much better for me. So if I can go out there and do some of the things I did against Boston, if I can go out there and go deep into the game and give us a chance to win."

Quintana (6-5, 3.60 ERA) already has thrown a career-high 181 innings between Double-A Birmingham and Chicago. The 23-year-old has been an unexpected bright spot for White Sox manager Robin Ventura.

"I'd say from Spring Training, yeah he surprised me, because you didn't expect him to really be in the rotation and do the things that we've asked him to do," Ventura said. "He's had some big spots."

But Quintana also has a 6.91 ERA and 20-to-16 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his last six starts, the most recent of which came Sept. 22. Since then, he pitched two-thirds of an inning of scoreless relief on Tuesday against the Indians.

Quintana's last appearance against the Rays was a controversial one. That outing ended after 3 2/3 innings when he was ejected for throwing behind Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist.

Rays: Versatile Keppinger on a tear with the bat
• Jeff Keppinger drilled a two-run homer off Chicago starter Chris Sale on Saturday, continuing his blistering performance at the plate. One of the driving forces behind Tampa Bay's nine wins in 10 games, Keppinger has gone 17-for-37 (.459) in that span, with three homers and eight RBIs.

The 32-year-old is batting .331 with an .820 OPS for the Rays, while starting at least 18 games at four different positions. Last season, he batted .277 with a .677 OPS for Houston and San Francisco.

• The Rays have allowed four runs or fewer in six consecutive games, and nine out of 10. Their 3.23 season ERA is the lowest by an AL club since the A's posted a 3.18 mark in 1990.

White Sox: De Aza out sick
• Center fielder and leadoff hitter Alejandro De Aza was scratched from Saturday's lineup with flu-like symptoms and replaced in both spots by Dewayne Wise.

De Aza has gone 14-for-37 (.378) in his last 10 games, with two doubles, a triple, two home runs and a 1.114 OPS. Wise went 0-for-3 on Saturday and is hitless in his last 19 at-bats.

• Chicago is hitting .225 with 26 extra-base hits and 85 strikeouts in its last 12 games, scoring three runs or fewer nine times.

Worth noting
• This game marks both the regular-season home finale for the White Sox and the road finale for the Rays. Chicago will finish its schedule at Cleveland, while Tampa Bay will return home to face Baltimore.

• Price hasn't pitched against the White Sox since last April. He owns a 5.29 ERA in three career starts at U.S. Cellular Field. Comments