BOSTON — Maybe all David Price needed was a little extra kick.
In his first start since receiving some pitching advice from teammate Dustin Pedroia, the Red Sox ace twirled a gem, striking out 12 Houston Astros batters over 6 2/3 innings at Fenway Park to help Boston coast to an 11-1 win Thursday in the first contest of a four-game set.
The Red Sox’s bats proved more than capable once again, mashing 11 runs on 14 hits to notch their fourth consecutive game with 10 runs or more. They’ve now scored 51 runs in their last four games.
GAME IN A
Price silenced the critics and the Astros’ bats with a barrage of strikeouts, retiring 60 percent of the batters he faced via the K. His 12-strikeout performance was the third time this season he’s punched out 10 or more hitters.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Mookie Betts deposited a Dallas Keuchel offering into the Green Monster seats for a three-run homer in the fifth inning.
Betts’ blast, Boston’s second of the night, gave the home team a comfortable 8-1 lead. That was more than enough cushion for Price and Co. to seal the deal.
ON THE BUMP
— Price had ace-like command in an impressive bounce-back start. He struck out 12 of the 20 Astros batters he saw while surrendering just one walk, allowing one run on six hits over 6 2/3 innings of work. He recorded his first six outs via punch-out and retired 12 of the last 13 batters he faced before departing in the seventh inning after throwing 113 pitches.
Houston’s only run came in the second inning on an error by Pedroia, who couldn’t field a tough hop that allowed Luis Valbuena to score from third base. The run still was charged to Price.
— Junichi Tazawa retired the last Astros batter in the seventh and allowed one hit in a scoreless eighth frame.
— Heath Hembree worked a 1-2-3 ninth to wrap things up.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Xander Bogaerts helped the slugging Red Sox pick up where they left off, blasting a two-run homer over the Green Monster in the first inning. Boston now has homered in 13 consecutive games, a feat it hasn’t accomplished since the 2000 season.
— The scorching-hot Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hit streak to 18 games with an RBI single up the middle in the second inning. Bradley, who finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, now has 14 RBIs in his last four games.
— The Red Sox continued to hammer the ball in the third. David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez started the frame with back-to-back doubles, and Chris Young smashed a single off the Monster to plate Ramirez and push Boston’s lead to 5-1.
— Young, who went 1-for-4 with an RBI, is starting to heat up at the dish. He has six hits and three RBIs in his last three games.
— Betts’ laser over the Monster broke the game open in the sixth. It was the 23-year-old’s sixth homer of the season and second in the last three games.
— Ramirez had a perfect night at the plate, going 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
— Brock Holt got in on the fun with a pinch-hit double in the eighth inning. Bogaerts added an RBI single and Ortiz plated Holt on a sacrifice fly to push Boston into double digits.
— Every Red Sox starter recorded at least one hit, while seven different batters drove in at least one run.
TWEET OF THE GAME
We were all thinking it.
Friday’s Game 2 between Boston and Houston will feature another good pitching matchup, with red-hot knuckleballer Steven Wright hoping to continue his success against right-hander Lance McCullers, who will make his 2016 debut after a strong rookie campaign in 2015. First pitch at Fenway is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price (24) pitches during the first inning against the Houston Astros at Fenway Park.