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BAL@TB: Price induces the inning-ending double play

After Friday night's series opener against the Red Sox was rained out, the Rays will try to carry the momentum of Wednesday's victory, which snapped a three-game losing streak, into Saturday's contest at Fenway Park.

Tampa Bay will send reigning American League Cy Young Award winner David Price to the mound for the third time this season. Price was shaky Sunday against the Indians, giving up eight earned runs in five innings, and he will be looking to return to last season's form against Boston.

"[I] toyed with some things in the 'pen, can't give away my secrets," said Price. "But I did switch some things and it felt a lot better, and it was back to what the ball was doing last year."

Even though Price has an 8.18 ERA, Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey isn't worried.

"I got a kick about reading about Game No. 1, how he struggled, and he gave up two runs on one swing of the bat -- and that was it," Hickey said of Price's Opening Day assignment against the Orioles. "He was going through a lineup. You've seen what they've done now. Any time you've got Brian Roberts hitting ninth, is a pretty good indication of the quality of the lineup. There's really no concern on my end about him."

Playing into Price's favor may be the poor weather in Boston that postponed Friday's contest.

The Red Sox have scored 46 runs in the club's first nine games and are settling into a solid routine.

"We had a stretch of games where that timing and that routine became pretty consistent," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "I can't say that one day would completely disrupt a lot of what's going on, but just getting out with a regular routine pregame [tomorrow] will be important for us. We've got to adjust. These things are common to playing in Boston, because of the weather early in the season."

Starting the game for the Red Sox will be Jon Lester, who's coming off a dominant performance against another AL East foe in Toronto. The lefty fired seven shutout innings with six strikeouts, allowing only five hits and no walks.

It's a promising beginning for Lester, who's typically a slow starter. The eight-year veteran has started the season 2-0 for the first time in his career.

"It feels good, obviously," said Lester after his last outing. "Anytime you get off to a good start like this, it just adds to your confidence."

Red Sox: Doubront's start pushed to Tuesday
With bad weather nixing Friday's game, Felix Doubront's next start was pushed back to Tuesday against the Indians so the club could keeps its top three starters on their normal schedule.

"Tomorrow would be his eighth day [since he pitched]. We'll get some kind of [simulated] work either today, if we can find a spot, or at some point early tomorrow morning or following the game tomorrow," Farrell said.

• David Ortiz is scheduled to get 25-30 at-bats during Pawtucket's homestand, which commenced Thursday and ends on April 18, while rehabbing his injured right Achilles' tendon. The Red Sox are hoping to have Ortiz take four or five at-bats during Saturday's doubleheader.

• Jackie Bradley Jr. has been struggling lately, but the rookie isn't overly worried.

"I'm missing my pitches," Bradley said. "I'll see a good pitch and I'll feel like I put a good swing on it and I'll foul it back. That's the frustrating part about it, because I know those are the pitches I'm normally hitting and squaring up.

"You really can't do much after you hit it. Like I said, they'll start falling in holes eventually."

Rays: Not like Price
To say Price's last start against Cleveland was rare would be an understatement. The southpaw allowed less runs in his five starts in the entire month of July (seven), and the same amount in five starts in August (eight).

• Evan Longoria is homerless in nine games so far this season but is hitting .345. It's the longest homerless streak to begin the season for the third baseman in his career. His previous long was seven in 2011.

• Alex Cobb, Friday's initial starter, will have his start pushed back to Sunday.

Worth noting
• Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has reached base safely in the club's nine games this season and in 19 consecutive contests overall since Sept. 21, 2012.

• The Rays are 0-for-11 with the bases loaded this season. They have scored two runs on walks and one on a sac fly with the sacks full.

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