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Price hopes offense saves runs for his start

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Tampa Bay's lackluster offense turned into a juggernaut on Friday and Saturday, when the team scored 11 and 16 runs, respectively, in wins over the Yankees.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Rays are the first team in nearly 26 years to produce at least 10 runs and 16 hits in consecutive games against the Yankees since the Angels did it on Aug. 27-28, 1988, in Anaheim.

David Price will start for the Rays on Tuesday against the Twins, and noted that he hoped the offense would save some runs for him.

"I hope they saved a whole bunch," Price said. "[They scored 27] the last two days, so I hope we just keep scoring. It's fun for us in the dugout. Baseball can be a very long game. If you're going to play 3 1/2-, four-hour games, let's just score. It's fun."

The Rays had scored just 10 runs in their previous six games heading into Friday night's 11-5 win.

"We enjoy cheering for them," Price said. "We see how hard they're trying, especially when they're struggling. We've all been there, we know what it feels like, and we have their backs 110 percent. We know they have our backs, as well."

Yankees infielder Dean Anna pitched the eighth, becoming the first Yankees position player to pitch since Alberto Gonzalez on May 15, 2013, against the Mariners.

Price, who normally observes the other team's pitcher, was asked if he learned anything watching Anna's performance.

"Yeah, don't put forth too much effort," Price said. "But what he did was extremely tough -- to come in and to essentially lob the ball the way he did and still be able to throw strikes like that. I don't know how many pitchers would be able to do that. It's tough, it really is. ... He was just lobbing fastballs."

Price, like most pitchers, sees himself as a master batsman. Thus, he saw an opportunity on Saturday night. Why shouldn't he take a few hacks against Anna?

"I was lobbying with Joe," Price said. "I gave him a scenario where I was going to hit."

When asked how that conversation went, Maddon smiled.

"Not well," said Maddon. "You've already got three of [the starters] on the shelf. You don't want to take your chances on the fourth."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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