ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — If David Price was making his last start for the Tampa Bay Rays, he went out quietly Wednesday.
Price lost for the first time since June 20 to end his winning streak at six, allowing four runs and seven hits over seven innings in the Rays’ 5-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.
After the loss, Price claimed he thought Thursday’s trade deadline was actually Wednesday. The left-hander said he will be playing golf Thursday when the 4 p.m. deadline passes.
“And I keep my phone in my bag when I play golf,” Price said, adding that he expects to be with the Rays for their next game Friday.
Yovani Gallardo gave up four hits in seven innings, Martin Maldonado tied a career high with four RBIs and the NL Central-leading Brewers avoided a three-game sweep.
Gallardo (6-5) retired 13 in a row at one point, en route to moving past Ben Sheets into sole possession of fifth place on the Brewers’ career list with 87 wins.
Price dropped to 11-8.
“David didn’t have his greatest stuff but he was still really good. His fastball was a really good pitch today,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “We just have to score a couple points and he gets the win.”
The Rays lost for just the second time in their last 13 games. A victory Wednesday would have lifted Tampa Bay (53-55) to .500 for the first time since late April.
Maddon said he also expects Price to remain with the Rays past the deadline.
“Obviously, if you were to lose some really important players and some friends, that would be difficult,” Maddon said, “but we are in a business. We’ve done it before and we’ve survived. I’d much prefer that he was here.”
Maldonado put the Brewers up 2-0 with a two-run single in the second, an inning that included two walks. It was just the second time this season Price walked a pair in the same inning.
After Aramis Ramirez had a third-inning run-scoring single, Maldonado made it 4-0 when he drove in a run with a double in the sixth.
Maldonado got his third hit on an RBI single in the eighth.
Gallardo won for the first time since beating Arizona on June 19 to stop a six-start winless streak.
Jeremy Jeffress gave up two of his three hits in the ninth before Zach Duke walked Logan Forsythe to load the bases with two out. Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez entered and got his 31st save by striking out Yunel Escobar.
Price had gone eight or more innings in eight of his previous nine starts. He missed a chance to become the first Rays pitcher to win six games in a month.
Brewers: RHP Wily Peralta (12-6) is scheduled to face Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright (13-5) in the start of a three-game series between two of the top NL Central teams Friday night in St. Louis.
Rays: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (0-0), coming off right elbow surgery in January, will make his third start of the season Friday night against Los Angeles Angels RHP Matt Shoemaker (8-3).
It was the seventh shutout for the Brewers, their first since July 5. Five of the seven have come on the road.
The Rays were shut out for the 13th time, most in the AL and second in the major behind San Diego (16).
“This is my last start for the Rays …. IN JULY!!!” — Price, causing a brief stir on twitter 4 1/2 hours before Wednesday’s first pitch.
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