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TOR@TB: Price fans five over eight scoreless innings

David Price will get his chance to pitch at Target Field on Saturday when the Rays take on the Twins in the second game of their series in Minnesota. The Rays won the series opener, 6-2.

Price went to this week's All-Star Game in Minneapolis as Tampa Bay's lone representative but did not pitch, having started the Sunday before the break. Days after the Midsummer Classic in the first series after the break, he'll take the Target Field mound.

"I made it into a normal week," Price said Friday. "I still got all my workouts in. On Tuesday, I threw a bullpen. I took one day to myself. On Wednesday, I didn't do anything. Came to the field here yesterday, threw, did all my workouts. Kept it as normal as I could."

As the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline nears, Price, amid much speculation, is still with the Rays. But how the team performs in its next few series could determine whether Tampa Bay tries to move its ace or not.

Price has worked at least eight innings seven times in his last 10 starts. Since returning from the disabled list on July 2 of last season, he has thrown a Major League-leading six complete games. Only three teams -- the Yankees (eight), Reds (seven) and Dodgers (seven) -- have more over that span.

The Twins are also entering an important stretch. Depending on how their current 10-game homestand shakes out, they could be either buyers or sellers.

"That's a normal conversation after the All-Star break for every team," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "[The players] don't want to lose their teammates, and they know it all goes to how we play on the field. Whether we've done enough to make that not happen or not -- it's only upstairs."

On Saturday, Phil Hughes will take the mound for Minnesota opposite Price. Hughes got his second straight win in his last start on July 13 despite giving up five runs in five innings against the Rockies.

Hughes is 3-2 in his last five starts, although he has allowed at least five earned runs in four of those games. Still, the right-hander, who is 10-5 with a 3.92 ERA, was the first Twins pitcher with double-digit wins at the All-Star break since Carl Pavano in 2010.

Twins: Santana activated, Herrmann optioned to Triple-A
Danny Santana was activated from the disabled list on Friday after recovering from a bone bruise on his left knee. Santana, who last played for Minnesota on June 25, is batting .328 with a .366 on-base percentage in 37 games.

"He's fun to watch for sure," Gardenhire said. "He was our igniter before he got hurt. Hopefully he'll get back to that, be swinging good and pick up where he left off."

Santana played three games for Class A Fort Myers while on a rehab assignment, starting twice at center field and once at shortstop. Santana has played shortstop 18 times and center field 18 times for the Twins in his brief big league tenure, and he's also seen action at second base in the Minors.

Minnesota optioned backup catcher and outfielder Chris Herrmann to Triple-A Rochester to make room for Santana on the active roster. Herrmann has batted .143 in 42 at-bats for the Twins this year.

Rays: Another rookie joins Tampa Bay
Curt Casali was selected from Triple-A Durham to replace Ryan Hanigan, who went on the disabled list retroactive to July 9. Tampa Bay also moved Wil Myers to the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster.

Casali made his Major League debut in Friday's series opener against the Twins and singled to center field in his first big league at-bat.

With the addition of Casali, the Rays have six rookies on their current roster. According to Stats Inc., only two Major League teams currently have as many on their roster: Arizona (nine) and the White Sox (eight).

Casali is the 11th different rookie to play for the Rays in 2014. Only one other AL East team has used more: the Yankees (13), per Stats Inc.

Casali was batting .261 with four home runs and 28 RBIs in 68 games this season split between Durham and Double-A Montgomery.

Worth noting
• Whichever team wins this weekend's series will also take the lead in the all-time series between the two clubs. The Twins were 63-63 against the Rays entering Friday's series opener, with Tampa Bay taking a one-game edge with its 6-2 win.

• Price was featured on Thursday night's Late Show with David Letterman in a segment he taped with "Todd the Intern" at the Mall of America. Price and Todd competed in carnival games, rode the roller coaster and a carousel, and shared a milkshake with two straws.

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