David Price has an important message: He’s back.
The Boston Red Sox left-handed starter missed nearly the first two months of the 2017 season after suffering an elbow injury during spring training, and his two rehab starts before returning to the big leagues didn’t exactly go well. But Monday was a different story in Chicago against the White Sox.
Price announced his return with a five-inning outing in the Red Sox’s 5-4 loss at Guaranteed Rate Field. He allowed three earned runs on two hits while walking two and striking out four on 88 pitches.
“There’s no doubt in my mind where I stand right now heath-wise, and it was good to go out there and feel as good as I do,” Price said, as aired on NESN’s postgame coverage.
It wasn’t a perfect return by any means. Price allowed a three-run home run to Melky Cabrera in the bottom of the third inning after walking two straight batters, and he also hit two consecutive batters in the fifth, although shortstop Xander Bogaerts helped him out that time with stellar defense on a double play.
But, as even Price admitted afterward, it could have been worse.
“I was trying to go two-seam down and away, and I just yanked it middle-in,” Price said of his pitch to Cabrera. “And he’s been a guy that’s swung the bat against me well his entire career. That was tough. It would have been great if that were a solo home run, but walking the two guys before that. So, everything today was sort of self-induced. As much as that stinks, it’s better than going out there and getting hit all over the place and giving up hard-hit balls left and right. That wasn’t the case today. So I’ve got some stuff to work on. I’ll do that on Wednesday.”
The positive was that Price looked healthy on the mound, and he backed that up with his postgame comments. He also was in the 93 to 95 mph range with his fastball for most of the game, which was encouraging sign for him.
“Yeah, after the fifth I still felt strong,” he said. “I felt strong in the fifth and after that inning, I still felt really good. I don’t feel like my stuff changed all that much throughout the game, and there’s — I’m back.”
Let’s take a look at a few more notes from Red Sox vs. White Sox.
— Dustin Pedroia left Monday’s game after he was involved in a first-inning collision with White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu. Pedroia hit a grounder to Abreu, who made the unusual decision to slide into first base to beat Pedroia to the bag for the out. Pedroia flipped over Abreu’s back and suffered a sprained left wrist on the play.
Red Sox manager John Farrell provided an update on his status after the game.
— Chris Sale is scheduled to make his first start in Chicago on Tuesday since being traded by the White Sox to the Red Sox in the offseason. The White Sox played a video tribute for their former ace the day before his big start, and Sale acknowledged the crowd at Guaranteed Rate Field afterward.
Thumbnail photo via Caylor Arnold/USA TODAY Sports Images