Published July 29, 2013
| Sports Network
First place in the American League East will be on the line at Fenway Park on Monday when the Boston Red Sox host the Tampa Bay Rays in a makeup game from last Thursday.
Boston enters the matchup a half-game ahead of the Rays in the division thanks to a 5-0 win over Baltimore on Sunday, coupled with Tampa's 6-5 loss to the New York Yankees.
Despite, Sunday's loss, the Rays are still an amazing 21-4 over their last 25 games. They also had taken two of three from the Red Sox at Fenway last week before the finale was postponed on Thursday by rain.
"Deja vu all over again," Tampa manager Joe Maddon told the Rays' official website. "I was hoping to get up there and see us on top of that (standings) board. We're not, just keep plugging away."
Tampa may not have a problem at regaining that top spot, as reigning AL Cy Young Award winner David Price takes the hill Monday with a chance at putting himself into the record books.
Price was excellent against the Red Sox on Wednesday, as he went the distance and allowed one run and five hits to improve to 5-5 on the year, while lowering his ERA to 3.75.
Since being activated off the disabled list July 2 after missing more than six weeks with a left triceps strain, Price is 4-1 with a 1.76 ERA in five starts.
"I do feel very good," he said. "But it's a mindset. You hear it all the time. Once you have that mindset one time out there, you really grasp the concept of what it means. A lot of guys say they have the right mindset, but they really don't know what that mindset is. Once you can have that feeling out there on the mound and be able to duplicate that five days later, or the next day if you're a reliever, then you kind of understand what it is. To have that mindset is a big part of pitching."
Now, Price has a chance to become the first starter to beat the Red Sox twice at Fenway in a five-day span since Rip Collins of the St. Louis Browns did it on May 14 and 17, 1931.
Price stands a good chance at etching his name into the record books, as his 1.96 lifetime ERA at Fenway is the lowest mark among active pitchers.
Opposing him will be lefty Felix Doubront, who had a three-start winning streak stopped by Price and the Rays on Wednesday. Doubront gave up three runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings of that one, but fell to 7-4 to go along with a 3.78 ERA.
In 10 games (7 starts) against the Rays, Doubront is 2-2 with a 3.20 ERA.
Boston has won 10 of its 15 matchups with the Rays this season.