CHICAGO -- Joe Maddon has been employing a different managing style lately given the importance of the games at this time of the season.
"I've been doing it for 10 days, two weeks now," Maddon said. "Even yesterday, [Matt Moore has] got a one-hitter in the sixth inning and I didn't like it. I thought his velocity came down. And I didn't like the way it was going, and I liked Kyle [Farnsworth] on [Kevin] Youkilis and [Adam] Dunn. Then we scored all these runs and we can do something different with our bullpen, because I'm envisioning Kyle, Jake [McGee], [Joel] Peralta, [Fernando] Rodney at that point possibly. But all of a sudden, you're able to do something else."
Maddon made it clear that everything matters at this time of the year.
"You just can't assume that all these little things aren't going to matter," Maddon said. "You have to assume that they're going to matter. It's not about pushing panic buttons or anything like that. You can't work a game right now as if you're trying to develop someone, if you're trying to gain their confidence. That's for earlier in the year. This time is for grown men, and sometimes you just have to move along the conga line earlier than you'd like to. And our guys are pretty good about accepting that."
If Cy Young is in Price's future, he'll be thrilled
CHICAGO -- David Price is a strong contender to win the American League Cy Young Award this season. Recently, the Rays left-hander talked about the award and its significance.
"I remember growing up, I didn't know that that was an award," Price said. "I just thought that he was a really good pitcher. Getting older, you realize what that award is and what that award means. To be named the best pitcher in your league for that year is pretty special."
Price conceded that he would like to win the award.
"But it's not up to me, I can only go out there and pitch as good as I can tomorrow and leave the rest up to whatever else," Price said.
While Sunday could be Price's final start of the 2012 season, the lefty would like to have another start this week.
"Absolutely, it's either a Wild Card play-in game or a tiebreaker game," Price said. "Hopefully, I can at least have two more starts and go from there."
With four strikeouts on Saturday, Matt Moore broke the Rays' rookie record for most K's in a season with 175. Just four other American League rookie left-handers have had more strikeouts: Herb Score in 1955 (Indians, 245 strikeouts), Mark Langston in 1984 (Mariners, 204), Gary Peters in 1963 (White Sox, 189) and Frank Tanana in 1974 (Angels, 180).
Since Sept. 5, Wade Davis has struck out 23 batters in 10 2/3 innings, and since Aug. 24, Davis and teammate Jake McGee have combined to strike out 50 batters in 30 1/3 innings. The pair has faced 101 batters during that period.
The Rays have clinched their fifth consecutive winning season. Only the Yankees (20), Phillies (9) and Cardinals (5) have current streaks as long.
The Rays scored 10 runs and struck out 16 times Saturday in their 10-4 win over the White Sox. According to BaseballReference.com, no team since 1918 has scored 10 runs and struck out 16 times in a nine-inning win (although the Braves did it through nine innings of a 13-12, 11-inning win against the Cubs on May 28, 2006). In addition, Matt Joyce became the first Rays player to hit two home runs in a game he did not start. He is also the first American League player with two home runs and four RBis in a game after not starting since Matthew LeCroy accomplished the feat for Minnesota on Sept. 13, 2002.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.