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TB@BOS: Price fans six over seven strong innings

Part II of the Citrus Series switches to The Trop.

After Miami took the first two at Marlins Park, the Marlins and Rays will play another two-game Interleague set at Tropicana Field, beginning Wednesday night.

The Rays have lost eight in a row after dropping their 10th straight road game, and they own the worst record in the American League.

David Price will try to turn his team's luck around. He gave Tampa Bay a chance to win in his last start against Boston, but earned a no-decision in the 3-2, 10-inning loss. In seven innings, the lefty gave up two runs on six hits and struck out six.

Price has struck out 90 while walking only nine this season, giving him a 10 K/BB ratio that leads baseball. He is 1-2 and owns a 4.26 ERA against Miami in three career starts. The last time he faced the Marlins was in 2011, when he suffered a 5-3 loss after giving up five runs in 6 2/3 innings.

As for Marlins starter Tom Koehler, with all the success he has had at home, the righty's road stats tell a different story.

In five starts, the 27-year-old has a 1-3 record and a 3.86 ERA. But at Marlins Park, he's 3-2 with a 2.70 ERA and has held opponents to a .207 average in six starts. His last start came Friday against the Braves, in which he was charged with three runs allowed in seven innings in the Marlins' series-opening 3-2 loss.

Koehler's tied for 13th in the Majors with eight quality starts, and five of them have come at home. He had nine all of last year.

Against the Rays in 2013, Koehler logged his first of two eight-inning starts. He was handed the loss, but he only let three runs cross the plate on seven hits.

"Tommy's made some big strides since last year," catcher Jeff Mathis said Tuesday. "He's going out there with a lot more confidence in all of his pitches. He's commanding the ball real well. It's just maintaining that mindset of being confident and throwing all of his pitches. I think tomorrow when he runs out there, he's going to take the same mindset."

Rays: It's good to be home
Tampa Bay returns to the somewhat friendlier confines of Tropicana Field for 18 of its next 21 games. The team owns a 12-14 record there. After an eight-game jaunt on the road in which they lost all eight, the Rays will try to extend a four-game win streak at home. They surpassed their worst road trip in team history -- an 0-7 trip from July 14-20, 2006 -- with a 1-0 loss on Tuesday.

"It's been a little bit of a difficult schedule. But we've played pretty well on the road," said manager Joe Maddon. "We normally hit pretty well on the road. Sometimes we actually hit better on the road than we do at home. For whatever reason, it hasn't worked out that way this year. We need to get home, and we've normally played to that 50-win category, sometimes better, and that's going to be absolutely necessary this year."

With four players hitting over .300 in St. Petersburg, accomplishing the feat might not prove to be so difficult, especially since three of them registered a hit against Koehler last year. Both Miami starters this series are a combined 1-5 on the road in 2014. Between Koehler and Thursday starter Jacob Turner, the pair has given up 21 earned runs on 44 hits in eight starts over 45 1/3 innings.

Marlins: Road games critical
This next stretch of eight road games for Miami will be critical if the team wants to make up ground in the National League East after being swept by the Braves last weekend. The Marlins have scored 90 of their 259 runs on the road, and are 8-17 away from Marlins Park.

But they did just sweep the Nationals in a rain-shortened series in Washington by outscoring them, 11-7, in two games.

Worth noting
• The Marlins are 5-0 in five Interleague games this season. Miami is 33-42 in matchups against the American League since 2010, but the team has the most all-time Interleague wins (154-141) in the National League.

• J.T. Realmuto is expected to make his Major League debut at some point this series. The catcher was called up on Sunday to take Jarrod Saltamalacchia's spot on the roster as he recovers from a concussion.

• Rays catcher Jose Molina turned 39 on Tuesday. Only six other players in Rays history have worn the Rays uniform at the age of 39 or older. Left-hander Brian Shouse (41, 2009), infielder Julio Franco (41, 1999), right-hander Russ Springer (40, 2009), third baseman Wade Boggs (39, 1999), first baseman Fred McGriff (40, 2004) and Troy Percival (39, 2009) are the others. Molina is currently the elder statesman among Major League catchers.

• Kevin Kiermaier hit his first big league triple on Tuesday. He is the third Tampa Bay player to begin his Major League career batting .300 or better with two or more home runs in his first 10 Major League games. He joins Aubrey Huff and Delmon Young.

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