Red Sox lefty David Price sharp in return from injured list
By Sean Penney
Boston Red Sox left-handed pitcher David Price looked sharp in his return from the injured list, earning a win against the Toronto Blue Jays.
David Price‘s return to the Boston Red Sox rotation proved he’s ready to pick up where he left off as the team’s most consistent starter.
The lefty missed nearly three weeks due to a bout with elbow tendinitis but looked no worse for wear once he was back on the mound, limiting the Toronto Blue Jays to two unearned runs.
The team deemed Price ready following a couple of bullpen sessions, allowing him to return without making a minor league rehab appearance. That may explain some early inefficiencies but Price quickly shook off the rust to find his groove after his first trip through the Blue Jays order.
Price gave up a pair of singles in a 20-pitch first inning but avoided any damage by getting Freddy Galvis to fly out to end the threat. He also missed on a fastball he tried to throw inside to Luke Maile, leaving it out over the plate for the Jays catcher to hammer for a home run. The two-run blast came after an error by Michael Chavis, which made both runs unearned.
They were the only runs Price gave up in his five-inning effort. He settled down after the Maile blast, retiring the last 10 batters he faced.
"“I felt better as the game went on,” Price told reporters after the game, as shown on NESN. “The last couple of innings were more efficient than the first two or three, so it was good.”"
Price finished his outing allowing only the two unearned runs on three hits. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out four.
There was no indication that Price was on a strict pitch count so it was a bit surprising that he was lifted after only 67 pitches. His postgame comments seem to confirm that he was feeling good by the end of his outing so the early hook is more precautionary for a pitcher who had been sidelined for most of the month. It’s encouraging that Price got stronger as the game went on and he struck out two of the three batters he faced in a clean fifth inning to wrap up his start.
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It’s also worth noting that the Red Sox tacked on a couple more runs in the top of the sixth, increasing their lead to 8-2. With the game well in hand, there was little incentive to push Price any further.
Price now owns a 2-2 record, 3.29 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 10.1 K/9 this season. Maintaining these numbers over a full season would make this the best year Price had had since coming to Boston.
His next turn in the rotation is scheduled for Saturday against the Houston Astros, a team Price shut out over six innings when he last faced them in the 2018 ALCS. He should be trusted to last longer next time and the Red Sox will need him to if they are going to avenge last weekend’s series when the Astros came into Fenway Park and took two out of three.
Chris Sale has been dominant in his last handful of starts while Eduardo Rodriguez and Rick Porcello have shown signs of turning their seasons around. Now that Price is back, Boston’s rotation is trending toward expectations of being among the league’s best.