David Price Will Start Game 5 If Rays Avoid Elimination, Matt Moore Available Out of Bullpen in Game 4

David PriceJoe Maddon said after the Rays’ Game 2 loss at Fenway Park on Saturday that he was looking forward to returning to Boston for a Game 5. If the Rays win Tuesday and make that return a reality, Tampa Bay will send Game 2’s starter back to the hill Thursday in search of retribution.

Maddon said Tuesday that David Price, who was touched up for seven runs in Saturday’s Game 2, will pitch Game 5 in Boston if Tampa Bay wins Game 4. Maddon also said that Game 1 starter Matt Moore will be available out of the bullpen in Game 4.

“Yeah, David will start [Game 5], absolutely,” Maddon told reporters in St. Petersburg on Tuesday. “Matt Moore will be available tonight out of the bullpen if necessary, but David will start, yes. Because he’s really good. And he’s pitched really well and he’ll be on regular rest.  And we just think it’s the best thing for us.”

Price gave up seven runs on nine hits over seven innings while suffering the loss Saturday in Boston. He’s long been the Rays’ ace, though, and it was fairly obvious that Tampa Bay would turn to him in the event of a Game 5, especially since he’d be working on normal rest.

Moore was torched for seven runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings on Friday, but he, too, has been a valuable pitcher for the Rays this season. His presence in the bullpen could provide a boost, as we’ve already seen Tigers ace Max Scherzer make an impact in relief Tuesday.

“I think for the most part our guys are in pretty good shape physically and emotionally right now,” Maddon said of his bullpen. “You have additions, like Matt Moore is an addition to the bullpen tonight. You’re not going to see him coming in trying to get out of a jam in an inning. It’s got to be somebody else. He’s going to have to start an inning. If the game goes further in the night, hopefully not, hopefully do it in nine innings, but you have more ability if the game gets longer.”

Jake Peavy and Jeremy Hellickson will start Tuesday’s Game 4 for Boston and Tampa Bay, respectively.

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