David Price’s stellar start to the season now seems like a distant memory.
The Boston Red Sox starter has had a tough run of form lately, dropping his last three outings after surrendering nine runs (seven earned) in an 11-5 loss to the Texas Rangers on Thursday night.
Price lasted just 3 2/3 innings, getting lifted in the fourth after walking in a run with the bases loaded. While the damage could have been mitigated had Rafael Devers’ fielding error not led to two runs being scored (neither were charged as earned runs), Price clearly struggled with command in the loss.
The 32-year-old has proven this season he’s capable of pitching at a high level, as evidenced by his first two starts when he went 1-0, allowing just seven hits and no runs combined in the pair of outings.
But since he left his start against the New York Yankees on April 11 with a sensation in his throwing hand after just one inning, things have not been the same. Dating back to that start, Price is 1-4 with an 8.22 ERA over 23 innings.
“I felt in four of my first five, with the exception of the Yankee game, I felt like I commanded the baseball really well on both sides of the plate,” Price said after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “Fastball, cutter, changeup, that’s what I did really well, and in my last two starts, I have not commanded the baseball the way that I did in four out of those first five. And that’s something I take a lot of pride in doing and I haven’t done it in my last couple, and I expect it to be there my next start.”
Cora and Price both noted, however, that health isn’t a concern despite the downtick in performance since the early exit against the Yankees.
Price won’t get much time to recuperate either; he’s scheduled to face that red-hot Yankees lineup again in his next start.
Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Rangers:
— Mookie Betts continued raking, drilling a home run in the third inning just one day after putting three in the stands. Betts leads the majors with 12 home runs this season and now has a .370 average with a 1.299 OPS.
With his homer Thursday — which was his 69th career dinger in the leadoff spot — Betts tied Dom DiMaggio for most leadoff home runs in franchise history. More impressive was that Betts attained that feat in 535 career games, while it took DiMaggio 1,399.
— Marcus Walden was called up Wednesday after Eduardo Rodriguez went on the family medical leave list, and the reliever did a quality job in his first relief outing back in the bigs.
The righty’s job essentially was to keep things from getting worse, and he did just that. Walden entered the game with one out in the fifth and runners on the corners, and he recorded two outs without letting either of the runners score.
He ultimately finished the game having logged 3 2/3 innings of work, allowing four hits with as many strikeouts while surrendering an unearned run.
— Blake Swihart has been hard-pressed to get regular at-bats, but he got the opportunity Thursday, making his third start of the season. He served as the designated hitter, batting seventh.
Though he went 0-for-2, he worked two walks, with the latter resulting in him scoring a run off a Betts double.
Thumbnail photo via Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports Images