This is exactly why the Red Sox shelled out a cool $217 million for David Price.

The lefty will have to earn his money Tuesday (8:15 p.m., NESN) on the road against the defending World Series champion Royals as the Red Sox look to sustain their hot streak.

Price seemed to have solved the hitch in his pitching motion last Thursday against the Astros as he struck out 12 Houston batters in an 11-1 Red Sox win.

“I allowed myself to get into my power position,” Price said. “It’s something I worked on for four days leading up to this start. It was a big key for me and it helped out a lot.”

The Astros are far from world-beaters this season but Houston did show it could at least score against the Red Sox last weekend. The Astros scored 21 runs in the final three games of the series at Fenway. It makes Price’s effort last Thursday – against a good lineup – that much more impressive.

The sign of a true ace, however, is an ability to string along strong starts. Price hasn’t had back-to-back strong outings this season despite high strikeout totals and a 5-1 record. It would be nice to see his ERA at least get back under 5.00 as well as it currently sits at 6.00.

Kansas City will bring its A-game Tuesday for sure as it is looking to kick its title hangover from last season. The Royals were just 18-19 on the season entering Monday night’s series opener in Missouri. Ian Kennedy (4-3, 3.25 ERA) is slated to get the ball for the Royals.


The sensational David Ortiz

Seven years ago, it looked as though David Ortiz’s career was over. He didn’t hit his first home run that year until May 20 and he owned a .203 batting average entering that game. He has had monster seasons since that time, but the start to this season has been something else altogether.

Ortiz is batting .320 (ranked 18th in MLB) so far this season, he has 10 home runs (12th in MLB), 33 RBIs (third in MLB) and owns a sensational 1.101 OPS (first in MLB).