(SportsNetwork.com) - David Price is used to having things his own way on the mound. But in the midst of a dismal season for the Tampa Bay Rays, the 2012 American League Cy Young Award winner is having a little more trouble matching his typical production.
The lefty will try again to win consecutive starts for the first time this season Friday, when the Rays host the Houston Astros in game two of a four- game weekend series at Tropicana Field.
Price was a 4-3 winner over the Astros when the teams met on Sunday in Houston, where he surrendered three runs and struck out 10 while registering his first victory since May 13.
He's won three of four career starts against Houston and has pitched into the seventh inning in three straight games with the Astros.
"He's a bulldog on the mound and he's going to come after you," Houston's Dexter Fowler said.
His lone career loss against the Astros came last July, when his complete game wasn't enough to offset a strong performance by Houston's Jarred Cosart in his big-league debut.
Cosart gets the start on Friday to set up a rematch.
The right-hander's last start came Saturday against the Rays, when he gave up three runs in seven innings of a 7-3 victory in spite of a battle with food poisoning.
"I felt terrible in the third inning, I thought: 'I'm not going to make it,'" he said. "But you keep pushing yourself. It's the competitive side. I didn't want to come out of the game. I didn't want to tax the bullpen and I guess I wasn't dying, so I was able to pitch."
He's compiled a 2.68 earned run average in his last six road performances, but has lost two of the games while the Astros have managed just one run.
Houston had just three hits in Thursday's 5-0 loss to open the series and is batting .224 as a team during a four-game losing streak.
Kevin Kiermaier and Evan Longoria supplied back-to-back home runs during a three-run seventh inning, leading the Rays. Ryan Hanigan went 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored and James Loney had two hits.
Starter Chris Archer (4-4) tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and two walks with eight strikeouts in the win. Jose Altuve had two of Houston's three hits.
Collin McHugh (4-5) was tagged with the loss after giving up two unearned runs on four hits with three walks across six frames.