ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay ace David Price threw to a most surprising hitter in his latest workout — Kansas City pitcher James Shields.
Price took another step toward rejoining the Tampa Bay rotation, working Thursday in his first simulated game since being sidelined May 16 because of a strained left triceps. The AL Cy Young Award winner had never before been on the disabled list.
Price threw 54 pitches over three innings before the Rays played Kansas City on Thursday night. He got a good laugh when he took the mound to warm up and saw Shields, his former teammate, standing in the batter’s box.
Shields returned to Tropicana Field for the first time this season since being traded in the winter to the Royals. He watched five pitches by Price go by before stepping out.
Price is expected to start a minor league rehab assignment next week and could return to the majors in late June or early July.
“I felt great,” Price said. “I’m kind of getting the results that I’m expecting out there right now. It’s definitely good to go out there and feel as good as I am right now. I guess it’s a sigh of relief.”
Price struggled this year before getting hurt, going 1-4 with a 5.24 ERA after going 20-5 with a 2.56 ERA in 2012.
“He’s actually, I think, exceeding expectations a little bit,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “He’s looking really good.”
A’s honor Rivera
OAKLAND, Calif. — Yankees closer Mariano Rivera got a surfboard and a bottle of Napa Valley white wine as retirement gifts from the Oakland Athletics.
The pitcher was honored in a pregame ceremony before Thursday afternoon’s series finale against the A’s at the Coliseum, the last scheduled visit for the 43-year-old Rivera as he plays his 19th major league season.
As Rivera’s “Enter Sandman” entrance music blared, A’s manager Bob Melvin and team president Mike Crowley presented the pitcher with the surfboard featuring his No. 42 and A’s and Yankees logos. The bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc from Groth Vineyards also has his uniform number and is engraved with a special design commemorating this three-game series.
In addition, Oakland is donating $10,042 to Rivera’s foundation.
Jeter cleared for action
OAKLAND, Calif. — New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has been medically cleared to resume full baseball activities and running on his surgically repaired left ankle.
The Yankees said Thursday that Jeter was examined by Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C., and that he is continuing to heal. He received clearance to progress into baseball activities and running.
The 13-time All-Star hasn’t played this season after breaking his left ankle in the playoffs last fall and having surgery. Jeter sustained another fracture during his rehabilitation, and isn’t expected back until after the All-Star break in mid-July.
NL All-Star coaches added
NEW YORK — Current Mets manager Terry Collins and former Mets skipper Davey Johnson have been selected as coaches for next month’s All-Star game at Citi Field.
Johnson, currently Washington’s skipper, managed the Mets to their last World Series title in 1986. They were picked Thursday by San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy, the NL’s manager
Rangers CF Martin hurt
ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin left Thursday night’s game against Toronto after spraining his left wrist while trying to make a diving catch.
Martin’s gloved left hand rolled awkwardly when he hit the ground after unsuccessfully trying to catch a ball hit by Edwin Encarnacion in the top of the eighth.
The Rangers said X-rays were negative. They called it a mild sprain and said he was day to day.