Rumors swirl around Tigers ace, who allows two runs over eight-plus innings
By Alejandro Zúñiga
DETROIT -- If Thursday was indeed David Price's final start as a Tiger at Comerica Park, the ace exited on a frustrating note.
Though Price was "outstanding," in the words of manager Brad Ausmus, the left-hander -- who could be dealt before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline -- surrendered the tying run in the seventh inning. He received a standing ovation from the crowd following a clean eighth, and again when he was pulled after allowing a leadoff double in the ninth, before Detroit fell to Seattle, 3-2, in 12 innings.
"Hopefully it was because I pitched into the ninth inning and gave up two runs," Price said of the recognition.
Regardless of the motive, his start was certainly worthy of applause. Price allowed just five hits and struck out seven over eight-plus innings. It marked the 11th time in his last 12 outings that he has surrendered two earned runs or fewer.
But Price took little joy in the performance, which resulted in a no-decision as Detroit's offense squandered several opportunities after a two-run first inning.
Price's only other blemish was Kyle Seager's first-inning home run, which the lefty followed by retiring 16 of the next 18 batters he faced until the seventh inning.
"That's vintage David Price," said catcher James McCann. "Offense needs to put up runs. He kept us in the ballgame, gave us a chance to win. I can't imagine how frustrating that is for him. I know it's frustrating for all of us to sit there and watch a guy like him pitch the way that he does and not be able to get him run support."
Over his last 12 starts, Price is 6-2 with a 1.66 ERA, and including Thursday's loss, the Tigers are 15-5 this season when he pitches.
"These guys have crushed for me all year long," Price said. "I'm getting close to five runs a start. Don't give up two runs, and win."
Detroit begins a 10-game road trip Friday, and the organization has been mum about its plans as the Trade Deadline nears. Price, who will be a free agent following this season, would be a valued commodity for a team in the postseason hunt. However, Detroit itself is just four games out of the second American League Wild Card spot.
Price has asserted he wants to win with the Tigers, who acquired him from the Rays in a three-team deal last summer. And if Thursday was his last game as a Tiger at Comerica, he wasn't giving it too much thought.
"It's out of my control," Price said, "so there's no point in thinking about it."
Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByAZuniga. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.