ARLINGTON -- Manager Joe Maddon announced prior to Game 2 of the American League Division Series that David Price will start Game 3 and Jeremy Hellickson will start Game 4, if necessary.
Despite the fact that Price did not win a game in September, Maddon said he felt good about having Price start Game 3.
"I know [that Price didn't have a good September], but David is a big part of our present and future. I have a lot of faith in him. He's not hurt. He's well. He's one of the better pitchers in baseball," said Maddon, who noted that Price finished second in the AL Cy Young Award voting last season. "If there was an injury involved, there would be more concern about it. I feel very good about it actually."
By having Price start Game 3, that would allow him to be ready for a Game 1 of the AL Championship Series if the Rays advance to the next round.
"It's awesome," said Price about starting Game 3. "Hopefully we can get a win tonight and get a chance to close it out on Monday night at home, and that would be good for our fans to see that. That would be a good game for me to step up and throw a good one for the Rays. ... Matt Moore stepped up for us last night, and that was huge for us, and I need to do the same Monday."
Price is coming off an outing Wednesday night against the Yankees when he allowed six runs (five earned) on six hits over four innings, but he has put that outing behind him.
"I got knocked down on Wednesday, get back up, go back at it," Price said.
Price smiled when asked if he had learned anything from watching Moore in Game 1.
"Strike one," Price said. "I mean, I didn't learn anything. I just watched him make pitches. That's what he did all day yesterday, and that was big. I think he walked two guys. He was ahead 0-2, 1-2, 0-1 a lot. That's what you have to do, especially against a team like this with a lot of free swingers. He did well."
Price said he didn't even know that he had not won a game in September "until somebody told me in an interview."
"But yeah, that is frustrating," he said. "I don't really look at all the numbers and stuff. ... I feel good right now. My body feels good. I felt good after my [bullpen session] yesterday. I need to come out Monday and give us a win."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.