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DET@NYY: Price on having fun in his Tigers' debut

David Price will make his first start for the Tigers when he takes on the Yankees on Tuesday in New York.

Traded to Detroit from the Rays last Thursday, Price is the second in a trio of consecutive Cy Young Award winners the Yankees will face to begin this week's series.

"I think the biggest thing for me is I'll feel a lot better once I can contribute," Price said. "Once I get out there and make my first start, then I'll really feel like I'm part of the team."

The 28-year-old lefty went 11-8 with a 3.11 ERA this season for Tampa Bay before the trade. This will be his first career start for an organization other than the Rays.

"It is different," Price said. "I think the most different part about it is having new teammates. Kind of getting to know everybody on a personal level, and just stuff like that, just want to fit in and not really stand out. I just want to be one of the guys here, and that's what I've been doing. These guys have welcomed me extremely well, and I couldn't ask for anything else from them."

Manager Brad Ausmus echoed Price's statements regarding the desire to make a difference on a new club.

"You kind of tiptoe your way into a new clubhouse and you don't know many of the people or players," Ausmus said. "You pull for the team while you're sitting there, but once you get out on the field and are a part of the game and contribute to the team on the field, you feel more a part of the team."

Price's counterpart on Tuesday is Hiroki Kuroda (7-7, 3.98 ERA), who took a loss in his last outing against Texas but did well despite the low run support. He went seven innings, allowing three runs on nine hits while throwing a season-high 115 pitches.

Kuroda's been very consistent this season, only allowing more than four runs in a start once, back on April 25 against the Angels. But Price will get almost all of the attention on Tuesday night.

"He's got really good stuff," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said about the Detroit lefty. "He doesn't walk people. He commands the strike zone. He uses his offspeed well, he doesn't beat himself, really. So that's what makes him so difficult."

Led by outfielder Brett Gardner, who just collected American League Player of the Week honors, the Yankees will need an excellent series at the plate to stick around against the Tigers' elite arms.

'We feel that we've been swinging the bats better, our lineup is deeper, and we've been healthy lately," Girardi said. "So that's a good sign, too."

Yankees: Phelps hits 15-day DL, Daley promoted
The Yankees announced Monday that starter David Phelps, who lasted just two innings Sunday against the Red Sox, was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Righty Matt Daley replaced Phelps on the roster.

Phelps said that some lingering elbow soreness didn't loosen up -- as it usually has in the past -- during his warmups Sunday night. A second MRI Monday revealed that his ligament was still clean, but he will have to shut down his arm for two weeks with the tendinitis.

"It's devastating," said Phelps, who likely won't be back in the rotation for at least three weeks in order to get his arm back into shape. "Like I said last night, this is one of the best stretches I've had in my career. Hopefully rest it, have it calm down, and come back and help this team get to the playoffs."

Phelps is 5-5 with a 4.24 ERA in 26 games (17 starts) this season.

Tigers: Davis, Carrera competition heats up
Since Detroit's Trade Deadline deal that sent Austin Jackson to Seattle, the center-field spot has been up in the air.

Rajai Davis was excellent in the Tigers' recent series against the Rockies, going 7-for-11 at the plate. But he's hitting just .250 against right-handed pitching this year, and Ausmus wanted to give Ezequiel Carrera a chance against Brandon McCarthy on Monday night.

Carrera rewarded his manager quickly on Monday in his first start in center field with the Tigers with a spectacular diving catch in the third inning, likely saving two runs.

The Tigers might not employ a strict lefty-righty platoon, but Davis will likely sit against tough right-handers. Carrera, a lefty, batted .315 with a .401 on-base percentage against right-handers this season in Triple-A.

Worth noting
• Detroit's Miguel Cabrera is one home run away from tying Cecil Fielder on the franchise's all-time list with 245.

• Price made his first career start at the old Yankee Stadium. He's 10-5 with a 3.66 ERA in 23 career starts against the Bombers.

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