Perfection is the destination. There's no gray area with David Price. He's 6-foot-6, 210 pounds of Type-A aggression that rolls in like waves from the Gulf of Mexico: He keeps coming and coming, and even the slightest error, the smallest impurity, will command his attention.

That's why he has become one of Major League Baseball's best at his position. That's why he won the 2012 American League Cy Young Award at a ripe 27 years old. That's why he has had a ridiculous spring, one in which he says this is the "best I've felt in a while," and his February and March comfort should make for a scary April, May, June and beyond for any American League batter not wearing a uniform that reads "RAYS" across his chest.

"I can definitely improve on a lot of stuff out there," Price said after he bludgeoned the Boston Red Sox for 6 2/3 innings Sunday at Charlotte Sports Park during an 8-4 victory, one in which he allowed two runs, three hits and struck out seven.

That's the secret to Price's pursuit: He won't allow himself to slip. Complacency is the poison for ambition, no matter the field or arena, and the seven-year veteran serves as the match for his own fire.

Need proof? Exhibit A: Despite another stellar outing Sunday -- Price is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in three spring starts (13 1/3 innings) -- he stood near his locker and addressed hitting Boston's lead-off man, centerfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., to open the game three sentences into his reflection of the day. He expects to excel. He's aware when he doesn't.

"I felt good," Price said. "It was good to get out there and feel better in the first inning. Still, hitting Jackie Bradley, you never want to start off a game with that leadoff guy on base, especially like that."

Exhibit B: Despite mowing through Red Sox hitters -- "Everything was working," Rays manager Joe Maddon said from the field later -- Price wanted to end his afternoon on his terms, with Tampa Bay's bullpen warming in the seventh inning. After allowing a single to Mike Carp and striking out Mike Napoli and Deven Marrero, Price walked Corey Brown, a sequence in which ball No. 4 skirted beyond the plate's corner.

Price turned toward second base. His shoulders lifted up and down, as if he had barked something to an audience of one, himself. Maddon, in a short time, emerged from the dugout to summon right-hander Heath Bell in relief.

"He had everything going," Maddon said. "You saw a lot of 95s (mph) early in the game. It came down to 93, and a lot of it was just fatigue or just the score of the game at that point."

It's simple to understand where most of Price's recent motivation has been drawn. Maddon's announcement last Thursday of the ace left-hander as the Rays' Opening Day starter against the Toronto Blue Jays drew an official end to the Winter of Rumor. This was closure.