ST. PETERSBURG -- Despite being eliminated from postseason contention -- and regardless of what may be happening further north -- the Rays aren't going to take it easy on an Orioles club trying to win the American League East.
Rays manager Joe Maddon, who used a regular lineup on Tuesday night, told reporters in St. Petersburg and took to Twitter to say his club would still play its remaining two games hard.
"Does that mean he might use [David] Price?," Orioles manager Buck Showalter, whose club entered the day a game back of the Yankees, joked when told of Maddon's words. "He's got a lot of great options to pick from, I wouldn't expect anything less.
"If he wants to, if he felt like we helped him that much last year, he could [take it easy]. There's not anybody they can run out there that's not going to be a positive with the pitching they present. It's a good team. And that tells you how tough it is to do what we are all trying to do. That team, as good as it is, is going to barely miss the playoffs."
The Yankees are hosting the Red Sox in their final series, and they cruised to a 10-2 win on Monday night against a Boston lineup that garnered a lot of attention given its lack of regulars. While there were whispers the Orioles weren't pleased with the Red Sox looking as if they were mailing in the final two games, Showalter didn't speak out against it publicly.
Asked how he felt in regards to Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine not playing Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury Monday night, Showalter said: "Nothing. I really don't. Pedroia may have broke his finger against us. And they told me he's in the lineup today? Wow. That's pretty special. And then Ellsbury didn't play a game against us. He's been hurt. He's in the lineup today.
"Let people handle their own. They know. I don't think it's really an issue for me at all and for our players. We got to figure out a way to beat this team and their pitching staff, and that's pretty hard to do, regardless of what happens in New York."
Should the Orioles and the Yankees tie for the AL East lead, the tiebreaking game would be played in Baltimore given that the O's have a better divisional record. The two clubs tied in the first tiebreaker for home field, which is head-to-head matchups.