David Price improves command, indicates he's pitching through ailment


David Price improves command, indicates he's pitching through ailment

BOSTON — David Price and Rick Porcello showed improvement on back-to-back nights Friday and Saturday, important signs for the Red Sox after a difficult month for both pitchers prior to this homestand.

Price on Saturday night went six innings and allowed three runs, two earned, in a 6-3 loss to the Angels. He fanned five and his velocity has been consistently better this year than last year.

But the most important number was his walk total: one. He walked three batters in his previous start, and four in both of his starts prior.

“Two outings ago, the first start here in Fenway,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “There was better timing in his delivery and overall better separation over the rubber. And he carried that through I thought, even though there's a higher pitch count in Houston, and has been able to maintain it here. I can't say there was one specific thing. It's been more the timing over the rubber. And you're seeing him pitch out of the stretch exclusively. Just less moving parts in a better position to repeat it.”

After Price’s final inning, the telecast captured Price calling pitching coach Carl Willis into the tunnel. Neither Farrell nor Price detailed the conversation. 

“Yeah, everything was fine,” Farrell said of the conversation. “Everything is OK there.”

Price made it sound like he’s dealing with some sort of physical ailment, but was vague.

“There's a lot of stuff going on right now,” the pitcher said when asked about the desire to stay out there. “You don't want it to linger into the next start, or two or three weeks from now, and that's why we did what we did.”

Asked to elaborate, Price reinforced that the decision was to save his body for another day.

“You never want to come out of a game. But you have to look forward at the time,” Price said. “You don’t want today to cost you your next start or you know, the start after that. So that’s what happened.

“It has nothing to do with my elbow or anything like that. This is — you get past one thing and there’s another So that’s what it is.”

Price in New York in early June felt a blister develop on his ring finger. He missed an in-between start bullpen because of it.

Asked about the blister Saturday, Price said, “That one’s gone.”

Farrell indicated the blister was diminished, if not entirely gone.

“He's been dealing with that,” Farrell said. “I think while it's still present and maybe not as severe as it was when it first happened, I'm sure he's going to check on it occasionally."

Bogaerts homers twice as Sox beat Astros, pull into tie for first

Bogaerts homers twice as Sox beat Astros, pull into tie for first

HOUSTON -- David Price wasn't great on Sunday night, and he didn't have to be. The best strike Boston threw to home plate came from left field, anyway.

Xander Bogaerts went deep twice for the first multihomer game of his career and had four RBIs, Andrew Benintendi threw out a runner trying to score and the Red Sox beat the Houston Astros 6-5.

Bogaerts had just two homers entering Sunday's game. He ended an 0-for-14 skid when he connected off Joe Musgrove (4-6) to make it 1-0 with two outs in the first inning.

A two-run shot by Bogaerts in the sixth put the Red Sox up 3-2. Jackie Bradley Jr. added a two-run double later that inning.

The Astros cut the lead to 6-5 on an RBI single by Carlos Beltran with one out in the eighth inning. Jose Altuve was thrown out at home on that play by Benintendi , and then Yuli Gurriel struck out looking to end the inning and was ejected after arguing the call.

An inning later, catcher Christian Vazquez caught Houston's Derek Fisher stealing to end the game.

"Bogey offensively is the difference in this one, but our ability to throw the baseball on the defensive side is what preserved this win tonight," manager John Farrell said.

Price (2-1) got the win despite tying a season high by allowing eight hits with three runs and three walks in five-plus innings.

Price was asked to evaluate how he's pitched in the five games since coming off the disabled list on May 29.

"It's just been terrible," he said. "It's been bad. It's not me. I can throw the baseball better. That's the bottom line."

Houston pulled within 5-4 with homers from Jake Marisnick and George Springer in the sixth, but an RBI single by Bogaerts added an insurance run in the seventh.

Boston tied the New York Yankees atop the A.L. East. Craig Kimbrel allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth for his 20th save.

James Hoyt plunked Mookie Betts in the right knee with one out in the seventh before hitting Dustin Pedroia in the back with a pitch. That caused home plate umpire Greg Gibson to issue warnings to both benches as Pedroia glared and yelled at Hoyt. Both managers came onto the field as Pedroia continue to scream and pointed at the mound before calming down and heading to first base.

Pedroia left the game in the bottom of the ninth and Farrell said the second baseman was getting X-rays at a local hospital after the game.

Betts was hit by a ball on his right elbow diving back to second base later in the inning and was favoring it the rest of the game.

Carlos Correa, Marisnick and Springer each hit a solo homer for the Astros, who went 3 for 15 with runners in scoring position and lost for the fifth time in seven games.

"They took advantage of almost all of their opportunities and we struggled in a couple of those," manager A.J. Hinch said.

Marisnick ended Price's night when he launched a fastball onto the train tracks beyond left field to start Houston's sixth. He was replaced by Heath Hembree, who ended a streak of 26 straight scoreless innings by Boston's bullpen when he allowed the homer to Springer to get Houston within 5-4.

Musgrove yielded six hits and five runs in 5 2/3 innings.

Correa sent Price's first pitch of the fifth inning into the seats in left field for his 13th home run to put Houston up 2-1.


Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, who has been out since injuring his knee on June 1, was doing well on Sunday, a day after throwing his second bullpen session and could increase his activity in the upcoming days.

Astros: LHP Dallas Keuchel (pinched nerve in neck) will begin to play catch on Monday for the first time since going on the disabled list on June 5. ... RHP Lance McCullers (back soreness) will throw a bullpen Monday or Tuesday, and if that goes well he could come off the DL next weekend in Seattle. ... RHP Charlie Morton (strained back muscle) will also throw a bullpen on Monday and could begin a rehabilitation assignment soon after that. ... RHP Collin McHugh, who hasn't played all season because of an elbow injury, will go to Florida to begin training for several weeks before hopefully starting a rehabilitation assignment. ... OF Josh Reddick (concussion) will take batting practice on Monday and will likely return to the lineup Tuesday.


Red Sox: Hector Velazquez (1-1, 6.48 ERA) is scheduled to start for Boston in the first of three games at Kansas City on Monday. He'll make his second major league start after allowing one hit in 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief in his last outing to get his first major league win.

Astros: Brad Peacock (3-1, 3.00) will start for Houston in the opener of a four-game series at Oakland on Monday. He allowed two hits and one run while striking out a season-high 10 in 4 2/3 innings in his last start.

David Price manages six innings without command in 2017 Fenway debut

David Price manages six innings without command in 2017 Fenway debut

BOSTON — David Price kept the game in control even without his command.

The lefty went six innings Tuesday night in his Fenway Park season debut, exiting with a 3-3 tie vs. the lowly Phillies in a game the Sox won in 12 innings, 4-3.

“That I'm healthy,” Price said when asked what he’s learned lately. “That was in my mind, you know, for sure, until probably after that first start in Chicago. In those first couple days after that, I felt good... to be able to respond the way that I did after that first start against Chicago and for my body to feel the way that it did after that. That was good. “

MORE: Carrabis: David Price inability to locate pitches a concern

Price has made four starts since coming off the disabled list with an elbow injury. For a second straight start, Price walked four batters, as his stuff exceeded his ability to locate. He struck out six and allowed four hits. 

A blister on his ring finger on his throwing hand kept Price from throwing a bullpen in between starts, Sox manager John Farrell revealed after the game. But Price didn’t think the finger affected him.

Price had two starts all of last season where he walked at least four batters.

“Today was pretty hot. The past two or three days have been our hottest days of the year by far. It's just different,” Price said. “You go to spring training in Fort Myers in Florida, and it's hot and humid. Then you get here and it's pretty cold for quite a while. To have that hot game, it's kind of a shock to the system. It didn't affect me.”

He looked great in a breezy six-pitch first inning, but had arduous frames in the second (32 pitches) and third (24). He worked out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the former, and gave up a two-run homer to Aaron Altherr way over the Green Monster in the latter. 

The Altherr homer tied the game at 2 after the Sox scored one run in the first and another in the second against Phils rookie Ben Lively, who was making his third career start.

The Red Sox immediately gave Price the lead back. The Sox went ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the third inning on a deep Mitch Moreland home run to center, his ninth of the year. 

Price was much improved over his final three innings.

“I talked to [pitching coach Carl Willis] after that third inning,” Price said. “My leg kick had a slight pause, at the top of my leg kick and it was causing my arm to kind of lack behind and not be able to get on top of the baseball. After that, I got back to throwing the baseball like I expect to throw it. That's what I expect to do. I expect to build on that and I'll be ready for my next start."

Price allowed the Phils to tie in the top of the sixth, his final inning. Tommy Joseph doubled to right field with one out. A single and fielder’s choice brought him around. Batter Michael Saunders beat out what was nearly an inning-ending double play on that fielder’s choice.