Tampa Bay left-hander David Price will have a special fan at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., for today’s start against the Baltimore Orioles.
His French bulldog, Astro, will be one of about 450 dogs on hand for the Rays’ first “Bark in the Park” event.
The two are usually inseparable, with Astro even making a cameo on the field during the workout day before the 2010 American League Division Series against the Rangers, watching as Price threw a bullpen session.
“He might come out there on the mound,” Price joked of Astro. “He can have a mound visit instead of (pitching coach Jim) Hickey.”
Price hasn’t needed much help lately, continuing his Cy Young-caliber season by winning his past six decisions, a career high and one shy of the Rays’ record. With a victory today, Price will be the first in club history with two seasons of 15 or more .
“I’m just trying to throw strikes,” Price said. “I try to attack the zone and get as many hitters as I can in 0-1, 0-2, 1-2, and put the pressure on them.”
KC SHAKES UP STAFF
The lowly Kansas City Royals have shaken up their staff by firing first base coach Doug Sisson. The Royals have the worst record in the American League at 44-61.
Sisson joined the Royals on Oct. 21, 2010. He was their minor league field coordinator from 2008-10.
Rusty Kuntz, who was a special assistant to the general manager, will take over Sisson’s duties.
Kuntz played on the Detroit Tigers’ 1984 World Series team and spent seven years in the majors. He also served parts of three seasons, 2008-10, coaching first base for the Royals as well as coaching outfield and baserunning.
Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was scratched from the starting lineup Saturday night against Minnesota because of what Boston manager Bobby Valentine called a minor leg injury.
Valentine said that with a day game today he didn’t want Ellsbury’s injury to get worse. Valentine didn’t provide any more details.
Ellsbury was replaced in the leadoff spot and center by Ryan Kalish. Ellsbury was originally listed in the lineup, but a change was made about three hours before the start.
Ellsbury is hitting .280 since coming off the disabled list on July 13. He missed 79 games after dislocating his right shoulder in Boston’s home opener.
The Marlins placed second baseman Emilio Bonifacio on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb. … The Nationals optioned catcher Sandy Leon to Triple-A Syracuse on Saturday, making room for newly acquired catcher Kurt Suzuki. … The Rockies put outfielder Michael Cuddyer (strained muscle) and left-hander Christian Friedrich (back) on the 15-day disabled list. … Athletics rookie right-hander A.J. Griffin left Saturday’s game against Toronto in the second inning with tightness in his pitching shoulder.