Red Sox, Price hammered in Twins 8-2 win

Feb 20, 2016; Lee County, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price (24) switches fields as he works out at Jet Blue Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 20, 2016; Lee County, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price (24) switches fields as he works out at Jet Blue Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

David Price gave up back-to-back home runs in his first start as the Twins hammered Sox pitching for an 8-2 win.

The Twins greeted the first appearance by David Price by going back-to-back in the second inning on their way to an 8-2 win that beat down the Red Sox pitching with 12 hits. Toss in a lethargic offense and the recipe for a loss was in place at Jet Blue Park.

All eyes were on the new guy on the mound – David Price – as the Boston Red Sox returned home after a brief two day and game road swing north on the Florida coast – a trip similar to a trek along the Massachusetts Turnpike to Springfield. The opponent was cross-town rival the Minnesota Twins who have made Fort Meyers home for 26 springs versus the Red Sox 24.

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Let the historical records show that the first pitch Price tossed in a Red Sox uniform was a line drive double off the bat of Brian Dozier, who eventually worked his way to third on a Danny Santana ground out. Price then recorded a 3-2 strikeout to Trevor Plouffe and a ground out by Miguel Sano to escape without any run damage.

With two quick outs in the second Price was greeted by an Eduardo Escobar blast to left field to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. This was followed by Kurt Suzuki putting one out in left for back-to-back home runs and a 2-0 lead. Next up was Byron Buxton considered by many the premier prospect in baseball. Buxton was gone on three pitches for Price’s third strikeout. Of note is Price has a career HR/9 rate of 0.8.

Twins starter Ervin Santana (7-4, 4.00 in 2015) had an impressive second inning with strikeouts to David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval.

The third inning started with two quick outs and then a Pouffe double for the fourth hit allowed by Price and all were for extra bases. Price escaped the remainder of the third without damage and was done for the day. His first Red Sox start can be described as less than spectacular with the final line being three innings, four hits, two runs, a walk and three strikeouts.

Heath Hembree replaced Price and the home run derby against Sox pitching continued. This time, it was a shot by Carlos Quentin that welcomed Hembree. If there was any pitching positive that existed is that all three home runs were solo shots. Hembree – attempting to secure a pitching slot in the bullpen – then managed to load them up on a pair of singles and a walk. Dozier made him pay immediately with a single for another run. Hembree’s next pitch went somewhere in the Everglade’s and the Twins now had a 5-0 advantage. When the dust settled in was a five-run outburst and a 7-0 Twins lead. The romp was on!

The Red Sox offense, which apparently was taking a day off, waited until the one gone in the sixth to get a base runner on with a Dan Butler single. Jackie Bradley and Mookie Betts made quick outs to keep the Red Sox off the board.

The Red Sox offense came out of flat-line in the last of the eighth. Ramirez drew a walked by Twins Alex Meyer – a 6′ 9″ right-hander. A single by Chris young was followed by a wild pitch and a David Murphy single and the Red Sox had a pair of runs. The next two Red Sox went quietly until pinch running Bryce Brentz ran into an out at third on a Chris Dominguez single. The Sox were now facing an 8-2 deficit and garbage time was in full swing.

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Game Notes:

* The Red Sox and Twins have split two games going into today’s contest. The Mayor’s Cup battle will be close.
* Ortiz has never left Fort Meyers for spring training since it is also the home of his former team the Twins.
* Travis Shaw has played ten innings at third this spring.
* Entering the game today Brentz has eight strikeouts in ten at-bats.
* Irony Department: Jon Lester was also making his first spring start.
* In the two previous games the Red Sox were 7-36 in RISP.
* Game time temperature was 84 degrees. In Boston, it was 62 degrees.
* Sandoval was 0-2 (2 K) and is hitting .071.
* Dominguez is hitting .444 and has played 19 innings at third base.

C-. . Game Ball. David Price. STARTING PITCHING

Back-to-back home runs is never a way to impress, but the rest of the effort was firmly in the OK category for first live action of the spring. Price is also a quick worker and that keeps everyone alert- he is away from the snooze-induced mound work by

Clay Buchholz


Game Ball. Robbie Ross. RELIEF PITCHING . D.

Hembree (1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, BB, K) was clearly in a form that had Pawtucket stenciled on his future travel plans.

Robbie Ross

(1 IP, H, K) plugged the Twins offensive juggernaught.

Tommy Layne

(1 IP, K) solidified his roster chances.

Anthony Varvaro

(1 IP, BB, 2 K) lowered his ERA to 10.80.

Pat Light

(2 IP, 3 H, R) showed that he will soon be with the Pawtucket contingent.

Game Ball. Dan Butler. OFFENSE . F.

Is there any possible grade lower? They Red Sox offense was not exactly facing

Randy Johnson

in a performance that was embarrassing. The core of what could or should be a formidable line-up did nothing of merit.

Christian Vazquez

was 0-2 in his second game back.

Marco Hernandez

went 1-1 and is at .583.

Allen Craig

took a called third strike with two on.