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Price discusses upcoming matchup with CC, Yankees

When it comes to pitchers' duels in the American League East, it might not get any higher in caliber than the Rays' David Price and the Yankees' CC Sabathia, who are both in search of a fifth consecutive win. The two will square off in Thursday's series finale and rubber match, following Tampa Bay's 4-1 comeback win on Wednesday.

In recent weeks, Sabathia has been every bit the workhorse the Yankees have enjoyed sending to the mound since 2009. Sabathia has gone eight innings in each of his last three starts and at least six frames in all six of his starts this season. The left-hander comes off a victory in Kansas City last Friday, when he allowed two earned runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and no walks.

"CC steps up when we need him the most," Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said following Sabathia's last start. "He likes to be out there. He likes to finish games. He threw eight great innings."

Likewise, Price comes off a start against the Athletics in which he tossed eight innings, allowed one earned run and struck out 12. The left-hander has tallied 23 1/3 innings over his last three starts, recording 24 strikeouts and three walks. Price has also surrendered just one home run 38 1/3 innings this season -- a trend that he wants to reinforce with his approach.

"I try to be even more down in the zone," Price said. "It's a short porch to right field, and everybody knows that. ... They've obviously got some very good hitters in that lineup. They're going to hit good pitches. They're going to hit balls that are down and hit them out. You just have to make good pitches, get them in the hole, 0-1, 0-2, try to get them to make some defensive swings. And when you get defensive swings, they generally don't go for home runs."

Though Price grasps the task of facing the Yankees' lineup, he welcomes the notoriety that comes with a matchup against Sabathia.

"Whenever you're facing somebody like the Yankees or Sabathia, you're going to have to come out here and throw the ball very effectively," Price acknowledged. "If you come out here and give up three or four runs, you're probably going to get a loss, especially against somebody like CC. So you have to come out here and stay in the game as long as possible and give up the least amount of runs as possible."

Rays: Infielders filling the void
The Rays have needed to supplement the offense in the wake of Evan Longoria's left hamstring injury. In his place, the group of Jeff Keppinger, Elliot Johnson, Will Rhymes and Sean Rodriguez has filled in admirably at the hot corner. The quartet is hitting .351 (13-for-37) with one home run while playing third base in Longoria's absence.

Yankees: Rivera reveals blood clot
• Yankees closer Mariano Rivera revealed that he was hospitalized overnight this week for treatment of a blood clot in his right calf. The clot was found when Rivera went for a consultation after tearing the ACL and meniscus in his right knee last week in Kansas City. Rivera told reporters at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday that he felt a stiff and sore sensation in his calf while having his knee examined.

"For a minute, I was like, 'What else can happen?' Rivera said. "To me, it's a blessing. I didn't ask why it happened, I didn't ask how it happened. I asked, 'How do we deal with it?' That's the way I wanted to leave it."

• Curtis Granderson's streak of reaching base in 28 consecutive games ended on Wednesday. Granderson had reached base in each game since Opening Day.

Worth noting
• The tiebreaking three-run home run Matt Joyce hit off David Robertson in the ninth inning on Wednesday was the first allowed by the right-hander since Aug. 29, 2011.

• Joe DiMaggio hit his first Major League home run on May 10, 1936, in a 7-2 Yankees victory over the Philadelphia Athletics.

• Price's outing marks the 197th consecutive start for the Rays made by a player whom the club drafted. Comments