Price available in bullpen for crucial Game 5
Ace will be pushed back to Game 7 if Blue Jays can win, extend ALCS
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays will have left-hander David Price available out of the bullpen for Wednesday's Game 5 of the American League Championship Series against the Royals (3 p.m. ET airtime, 4 p.m. game time on FOX Sports 1/Sportsnet).
The Blue Jays enter play Wednesday trailing, 3-1, and they are looking to become the 13th team to rally from that kind of deficit in a best-of-seven series.
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With Toronto facing a win-or-go-home scenario in Game 5, it decided to have all hands on deck. Price is available for a brief appearance out of the bullpen, and manager John Gibbons even raised the possibility of using R.A. Dickey out of the 'pen after starter Marco Estrada.
"You could see David for a couple of innings, definitely," Gibbons said early Wednesday afternoon. "You could see [Aaron] Sanchez for multiple innings, [Roberto] Osuna, you could even see Dickey if it came down to it. Not an ideal spot, but we need Estrada to be really good, and he normally is."
The reinforcements for the Blue Jays' bullpen are crucial, considering the club is without left-handers Brett Cecil and Aaron Loup. Cecil isn't eligible for the ALCS because of a torn left calf muscle, while Loup's status is up in the air after he had to leave the team on Tuesday because of a personal family situation.
Price tossed three innings out of the bullpen during the AL Division Series against the Rangers. He allowed three runs and picked up the win in Game 4 that allowed Toronto to force the decisive Game 5 it would go on to win.
The 30-year-old Price is 2-7 with a 5.24 ERA in 13 career postseason appearances (seven starts). A brief outing in the bullpen would essentially serve as Price's side session between starts, and his next outing would be pushed back to Game 7 on Saturday. In that scenario, right-hander Marcus Stroman would start Game 6 Friday on three days' rest.
Price also had experience coming out of the bullpen for the Rays in the 2008 postseason. He made five 'pen appearances that year and he allowed just one run over 5 2/3 innings, while also closing out Game 7 of the ALCS vs Boston.
"He could prove vital," Gibbons said of Price.