W eludes David Price, but his dog wins big

Before AL Cy Young winner David Price made his first start at Dodger Stadium on Friday night, he and the Los Angeles Dodgers had been going back and forth on Twitter for more than a month.

It started when Price suggested in a July tweet that they trade Yasiel Puig to Tampa Bay for sunflower seeds, a fresh rosin bag and an energy bar.

The Dodgers somehow managed to decline that offer, but they did invite Price to bring his French bulldog, Astro, who once had his own bobblehead day, to Dodger Stadium for the Rays’ first-ever visit this weekend.

Price couldn’t get Astro on the Rays’ charter flight, so the pitcher came solo. But, when he walked into the visiting clubhouse Friday afternoon, he was greeted with a basket full of chew toys, a foam finger, a Frisbee, dog biscuits and a Hello Kitty bobblehead with Dodgers logos -- all for Astro -- delivered to his locker.

In return, the Dodgers’ social media coordinator, Josh Tucker, asked only one favor: Take a little off your fastball Friday night.

“I wouldn’t do that for my mom … or my 1-year-old niece,” Price replied.

And he didn’t. The Dodgers were overmatched by his mid-90s fastballs and off-speed stuff, but they got his pitch count up and then rallied to beat Tampa’s relievers in the final two innings.

Oh well, perhaps Price will remember that gesture of kindness to Astro in November 2014. That’s when he projects to reach free agency.