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BOS@TB: Hellickson fans Bradley Jr. to escape a jam

When the Rays walk into the Tropicana Field clubhouse Friday before their series opener against the Angels, David Price won't be walking in with them.

The Tampa Bay ace was traded to the Tigers just before Thursday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, which, despite all the rumors, was an unexpected blow to his teammates.

On Wednesday, Jeremy Hellickson, who will start Friday's opener against the Angels, had said, "We need David. We're not going to get where we want to be without him. We need him, and I hope to see him Friday."

But he won't, and Hellickson will still have a game to pitch for the streaking Rays, who have won 11 of their past 13 games to get back within two games of .500 at 53-55.

The Rays lost Wednesday's series finale against the Brewers, and they entered Thursday trailing in the American League East and AL Wild Card standings by eight and 5 1/2 games, respectively. But they did win the series, 2-1, and manager Joe Maddon has repeatedly stressed that that is his goal for the club: win series.

On Friday, when a new series begins, it will be up to Hellickson to get his team off on the right foot against a tough opponent. The Angels own the second-best record in baseball, with their 64-43 mark trailing only the A's.

They'll send Matt Shoemaker to the mound against Hellickson and the Rays on Friday. Shoemaker, who is 8-3 with a 4.13 ERA this season, beat Tampa Bay in the clubs' first series in May, when he threw six innings of one-run baseball against the Rays to out-duel Price.

Shoemaker is coming off his best start of the season last Saturday, when he twirled seven shutout innings and gave up just three hits against Detroit. The 27-year-old rookie was efficient against the Tigers, needing just 78 pitches to get through seven innings.

"It was one of those games where he wasn't going to beat himself, he was going to make good pitches and make those guys hit the ball," manager Mike Scioscia said.

Current Rays players, in 17 plate appearances, are a combined 1-for-15 against Shoemaker, with Matthew Joyce's single the only hit.

In his last three outings, Shoemaker has 17 strikeouts and no walks.

Rays: For Price, Tampa Bay lands Smyly, Franklin, Adames
The Rays traded Price to the Tigers in a three-team deal that also involved the Mariners on Thursday.

With Price going to the Tigers, Austin Jackson went from Detroit to Seattle, Nick Franklin came to the Rays from the Mariners and Drew Smyly and Willy Adames, the Tigers' No. 3 prospect, also joined the Rays from Detroit.

Smyly, a left-handed pitcher, is scheduled to join the Major League club and move into the starting rotation. Franklin, a second baseman, will report to Triple-A Durham, and Adames, a shortstop, has been assigned to the Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods.

Angels: Halos stand ground as A's, Tigers deal
The Trade Deadline was eventful for the Angels -- just not because of them.

The Angels did not complete a trade on Thursday, but were affected by two of the biggest swaps of the day -- Oakland acquiring Jon Lester and Detroit netting Price. The Angels trail the A's by two games in the American League West while Detroit leads the AL Central.

"They were good yesterday and they're good today," Scioscia said. "We knew that. We have a really good team. Our focus has to be on us continuing to play at a high level and continuing to improve. Right now our offense is not firing on all cylinders, but we're pitching well and we're playing good defense. We really like our team. I think that's what we're going to put our energy into."

The Angels and the A's play 10 more times, including a three-game set in the second-to-last series of the season.

"We're not worried about it," Hank Conger said. "We still need to win. We need to keep winning. We know they're going to keep winning. It's just a matter of who's going to get hot by the time September ends.

Worth noting
• The Rays' loss on Wednesday delayed their chance to become just the fourth team in Major League history to get back to .500 after being 18 or more games under that mark, which Tampa Bay was on June 10.

• Albert Pujols' sixth-inning double on Thursday was the 548th of his career, passing Manny Ramirez for 27th on the all-time list. He's now one shy of Chipper Jones. Comments