David Price started Sunday for the first time since Aug. 4, but he wasn’t on the mound for very long.
The left-hander threw just two innings in the Boston Red Sox’s 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels, which was somewhat unexpected. Price gave up only one hit in the two frames while striking out two, and didn’t appear to be in any discomfort, but manager Alex Cora says he decided to take a gamble and pull the hurler early.
“We were thinking three (innings), but then (with) the effort and obviously he hasn’t pitched in a while, it was kind of a tough day,” Cora said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “We got the pitch count up and I didn’t feel too comfortable pushing him.
“This is a guy that we really need for what we’re going to accomplish. Hey, we took a gamble, we took him out. He’ll be ready for the next one, but that was on me.”
Despite the early exit, Cora liked what he saw from Price in terms of command. The former Cy Young award winner didn’t have his usual velocity Sunday, but he was effective around the corners of the strike zone, something he’ll need to do until his velocity returns.
“It looked from where I was that he wasn’t missing by that much,” Cora said. “There were some close pitches from where I was on the outside edges of the strike zone. It was a step in the right direction.”
Price was happy with his return to the hill, making note of his command similar to his manager.
“Felt good. Command of the strike zone with three pitches for the most part,” Price said. “Executed pitches when I needed to. That was good. … I was one side of the plate before I went on the injured list. Just being able to get the ball onto the right side of the plate, that helps out a lot.”
The lefty is 7-5 with a 4.28 ERA over 22 starts this season.
Here are some other notes from Sunday’s Red Sox-Angels game:
— With Price’s short start, Boston’s bullpen was put to the test once again. One night after imploding in an ugly eighth inning, they were able to answer the bell.
Travis Lakins, Ryan Weber, Hector Velazquez, Matt Barnes and Brandon Workman combined to throw seven innings of three-run ball with five strikeouts. Weber, who threw two scoreless innings, collected his second win of the year.
— Sunday’s win clinched three consecutive series wins for the Red Sox.
Boston went 6-2 on its West Coast trip with series victories over the Angels, San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies.
— J.D. Martinez continued his impressive stretch Sunday by mashing his team-leading 34th home run of the season.
Over his last seven games, the 32-year-old is hitting .407 with four home runs and 11 RBI. He’s sustained these ridiculous numbers for the last month, posting a .389 average with 12 homers in his last 30 games.
— Rick Porcello takes the mound in Boston’s series opener with the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night at Fenway Park. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. ET
Thumbnail photo via Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports Images