Tampa Bay Rays LHP David Price used all of 42 pitches during his four innings Monday against the Minnesota Twins. He allowed one hit and struck out six.
Price pitched out of the stretch during the fourth inning so he could utilize some of the things he and pitching coach Jim Hickey have been working on in the bullpen. The result was all his pitches were sharp.
"I thought the snap on the breaking ball was better, the slider. Some better change-ups also were there," manager Joe Maddon said. "He pitched really well. He should feel pretty good about this performance because they were working on some things and he took them into the game well."
Price said he felt pitched better as the spring moved along.
"I felt I continued to get better throughout the spring," he said. "I feel good right now and I'm excited about (facing the Yankees) Saturday."
RHP Fernando Rodney (bruised right forearm) is scheduled to pitch this afternoon against the Twins. RHP Jeff Niemann (blister on right middle finger) is scheduled to pitch Wednesday.
CF B.J. Upton said his sore lower back responded well to Sunday's workout in which he threw and ran arcs around the infield. He hit off a tee Monday morning and said he expects to return during the Rays' first road trip.
"I don't know," Maddon said. "Until we really wind him up and let him go and see how he feels under game circumstances, I don't think we can put a definite time frame on that."
Also, OF Sam Fuld will have wrist surgery and may miss up to five months.
The Rays and Twins played to a 6-6 tie, the sixth tie of the spring for the Rays. The Orioles also have six ties. Those are the most by a team since 1993, according to Elias. … The Rays drew 87,916 in 16 home games — an average of 5,495 a game. That's the lowest they've drawn in four seasons at Charlotte Sports Park.