The Red Sox had their first significant win streak of the year last week, winning six games in a row. While the racked up Ws did come against the dregs of the American League West in the A’s, Rangers and Mariners – who have a combined 70-84 record in 2017 - the streak was impressive nonetheless.
The way the Sox got the victories showed that they can play elite baseball as they scored six or more runs in five of the six wins, and the pitching was on point.
David Price did not account for any of those Sox wins last week, but his 2017 season debut was encouraging on Memorial Day Monday. In a 5-4 loss to the White Sox, Price worked five innings while allowing just two hits and three earned runs. He walked two batters, struck out four and gave up a three-run home run during the 88-pitch outing.
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“He had quality stuff and with the exception of one pitch he pulled to the inner part of the plate against [Melky] Cabrera for the three-run homer, I thought he delivered the ball well,” Red Sox manager John Farrell told MassLive.com. “He looked free and easy out there.”
Price bashers have questioned the lefty’s “want” in recent weeks due to the fact that he was initially due back in early May from his elbow injury, but instead didn’t pitch at the Major League level until this week. But Price at least showed his desire to win and win big for the Red Sox during his debut outing when he ran full-speed across the third base line and stretched out for a pop up bunt attempt that landed in foul territory. The 6-foot-5 inch Price nearly came up with a highlight reel catch on a play unusual for a star pitcher.
“I think if my elbow was completely blown out, I’d still dive for that ball,” Price told ESPN. “That’s a play I’ve been dreaming about for a long time now. Me and [Chris] Sale were talking about it probably two weeks ago. It’s a play you want to be able to have an opportunity to make.”
Price comes back to a starting rotation that is still finding itself. Sale has been otherworldly, but the other three mainstays have been spotty. Rick Porcello is 3-6 with a 4.21 ERA and Drew Pomeranz is 4-3 with a 4.70 ERA. Eduardo Rodriguez is 4-1 with a 2.77 ERA, but hasn’t exactly been lights-out every night he takes the hill.
“If we can, all five, just feed off one another I think we can do some special stuff,” Price told ESPN. “We know how good our defense is and how well we swing the bats. If the starters can all hit our groove kind of at the same time, I think we can win a lot of games.”
Dustin to the DL
Dustin Pedroia will miss at least two weeks with a sprain of his left wrist and the second baseman was placed on the disabled list Tuesday. Pedroia injured the wrist Monday when he collided with White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu.
Pablo Sandoval was called up from the minors to replace Pedroia on the roster.