The bullpen came up big for the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night after David Price lasted just 1 1/3 innings.
The relievers combined for 7 2/3 shutout innings in Boston’s 7-6 victory over the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park. Price surrendered six earned runs, but five homers from the Red Sox helped chip away at Texas’ advantage before taking the lead once and for all in the seventh.
After the game, manager Alex Cora had high praise for the ‘pen.
“They did an outstanding job,” Cora said, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “Kept the game in check. … We found a way to win today instead of finding a way to lose.”
Cora elected to go with Josh Smith — not Heath Hembree — in the ninth while the Red Sox held a slim, one-run lead. So, why did the skipper take that route?
“That’s our new closer,” Cora said with a laugh. “… Heater felt tightness in his forearm so he wasn’t unavailable so we had to go to (Brandon Workman) earlier and (Matt Barnes) earlier. … (Smith) did an outstanding job.”
Cora said Hembree’s forearm was getting checked out by doctors postgame, and MassLive’s Chris Cotillo reported the reliever “isn’t worried” about his arm.
Here are some other notes from Thursday’s Red Sox-Rangers game:
— The Red Sox hit five home runs in the win.
“It was fun today hitting the ball out of the ballpark,” Cora said.
— Chavis’ home run ended a 72 at-bat drought of not hitting a round-tripper with his 11th bomb of the year.
— Price lasted just 1 1/3 innings, his shortest outing since May 25 against the Houston Astros when the lefty didn’t make it out of the first inning.
“I think it was more about location than anything else,” Cora said.
— Smith earned his first career save with his three outs in the ninth.