Rays' David Price in 'bad mood'

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Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price didn't pitch like he was bothered by recent trade rumors.

Price, who earlier this week admitted he was frustrated by the talk, came within two outs of a shutout Wednesday afternoon in a dominating 5-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Rays ace helped them avoid a three-game sweep, cruising through the first eight innings before allowing a one-out home run to Andrew McCutchen in the ninth. He left to a standing ovation after the homer, giving up five hits with one walk and 11 strikeouts in winning at home for the first time in more than a month.

Price leads the American League with 144 strikeouts, including 54 -- with just five walks -- in his past five starts spanning 39 2/3 innings. His velocity is also climbing: In his first six starts, his average fastball velocity didn't reach 93 mph, but in six of his past nine starts, his average velocity has been 93.4 mph or higher.

Price's gem against the Pirates came one day after he told reporters that trade rumors have started to annoy him.

"I mean, obviously I think about it," said Price, who is 6-7 with 3.63 ERA on the season. "That's why I've been in a bad mood the last week and a half. I think about it. You guys know that. And it's nothing I really want to talk about.

"I don't have an answer for you guys. I don't know where I'm going. I don't know when I'm going. So there's nothing I can really comment on."

The MLB trade deadline is July 31, and while sources have told ESPN MLB Insider Buster Olney that the Rays aren't close to trading Price, rival officials tell Olney that they believe the Rays will try to move the former Cy Young Award winner soon.

Rays manager Joe Maddon understands how the rumors can be bothersome to Price, but told reporters "there's nothing I can say that is going to make him feel better, I doubt that."

"He needs to feel my support all the time, and I hope he does," Maddon said before Wednesday's game. "Beyond all that, part of this is it's a business, and sometimes when you get caught up in the business component, it makes it uncomfortable. ... I think part of it's complimentary. Part of it is disconcerting. I think a guy like him has been through a lot of different moments and always has been able to handle them."

ESPN MLB Insider Buster Olney contributed to this report.

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