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The Rays Tank: W in Houston, Price returns

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Strong starting pitching from Matt Moore combined with 17 hits and 12 runs provided a winning eve for the return of David Price.

Bob Levey

The Rays began this quick four-game road trip against the Astros with a 12-0 win last night, courtesy of a solid pitching performance from Matt Moore and offensive support from some unlikely suspects. For the full postgame recap, head here.

Return of DP

David Price returns to the mound tonight post a six week stint on the disabled list. It will be Price's first appearance since May 15th, after beginning the season with a 5.24 ERA.

If Ryan Roberts is the odd man out when roster moves are announced later today, at least he'll leave knowing Joe Maddon appreciated his three-for-five night with two home runs and three RBI:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Maddon: &quot;It’s not easy playing in the big leagues as long as he has, go back, regroup and come back and contribute to a win in a big way."</p>&mdash; Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) <a href="https://twitter.com/TBTimes_JSmith/statuses/351923170770558978">July 2, 2013</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Rays&amp;src=hash">#Rays</a> Maddon on <a href="https://twitter.com/rroberts19">@rroberts19</a>: "He was ready to play tonight - he was fricken ready to play. That was beautiful to watch.&quot;</p>&mdash; Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) <a href="https://twitter.com/TBTimes_JSmith/statuses/351922944076816384">July 2, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Colome injury

Marc Topkin tweeted some unfortunate news about Alex Colome:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Word from Durham, RHP Alex Colome, sent down by <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Rays&amp;src=hash">#Rays</a> Saturday, has mild elbow strain, likely headed to DL</p>&mdash; Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) <a href="https://twitter.com/TBTimes_Rays/statuses/351904877376585728">July 2, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Base stealing and the Rays

The Process Report took a look at the Rays lack of action on the base paths this season, and the numbers are pretty profound with how drastically this year differs from the past five.

From 2008-2012, the Rays stole 797 bases, 147 more than any other team in Major League Baseball. In that span, 14 different players stole at least 10 bases; with B.J. Upton leading the pack with 195.

This year? The Rays have only stolen 37 bases, putting them way back at 21st in MLB rankings. As Jason Collette noted, "That team total is just five more than what Jacoby Ellsbury has accomplished on his own this season."

Thus far, no single player has yet to reach 10 steals. The leaders: Desmond Jennings with nine, Matt Joyce and Kelly Johnson each with six and Ben Zobrist with five.

The Rays have never attempted less than 178 steals in a season, yet they're on pace this season to only attempt 109 steals. In the past five years, the team's steal totals have been the following:

2012 - 134

2011 - 155

2010 - 172

2009 - 194

2008 - 142

In a bizarre season where pitching has been a disappointment and offense is carrying the team, it almost makes sense that stolen base numbers would be ridiculously low. Almost.

Links:

- ICYMI: Luke Scott's brother has one fine head of hair.

- During last night's game an Astros fan unsuccessfully attempted to catch a foul ball. Key word: unsuccessfully.

- Buck Showalter doesn't dream of the World Series. He dreams of Chris Davis.

- Speaking of Chris Davis, the PED suspicions have begun to arise...

- Bryce Harper returned to the Nationals lineup Monday evening, and welcomed himself back by hitting a home run in his first at bat.

- Alex Rodriguez begins a stint of rehab games tonight, and with Harper already back in action, could they be the offense keys the Yankees and Nationals need?