After sim game, Price eyeing start in Anaheim

August 28th, 2019

DENVER -- With ace done for the season, the Red Sox sure could use back. And by the sounds of things, he just might be back to start this weekend in Anaheim.

The lefty, who hasn't pitched since Aug. 4 due to a cyst on his left wrist, threw a three-inning simulated game at Coors Field on Tuesday.

"Yeah, it was good to go up and down three times, face hitters and it was a step in the right direction," said Price.

Is he hopeful for Anaheim?

"Yeah, absolutely," Price said. "We'll talk about it I'm sure in the next couple days about that next step."

Manager Alex Cora liked what he saw from Price.

"He looked good," Cora said. "He spun a few breaking balls, too, which is a good sign. I know he spoke to you guys about how he feels, so let's see how he reacts tomorrow and we go from there. There's a chance he starts over the weekend in Anaheim."

The current rotation has , and . has been spotting in at times. The return of Price would take some burden off the rest of the staff.

Though Price wishes he could have been back sooner to aid his team's uphill push for a playoff spot, he knows that he would have been doing a disservice by coming back before he was ready.

"A wise man told me when I was in Tampa, if you ever get hurt, don't come back just to be back," Price said. "Come back to stay back, and that's what we're trying to do and make sure everything is firing. Just whenever I come back it's to stay back, not just to be back."

Benny won't start in Denver

Tuesday marked the second straight game left fielder was out with an injury to his left side he suffered in Saturday's game in San Diego. Benintendi isn't expected to play at all on Tuesday, but Cora said there's a chance he could be used off the bench by Wednesday.

Playing in a National League Park, got the start in left field. , who didn't start the first two games of the road trip, was again in center field.

Cora hopes Benintendi will be ready to go by Friday, when the Red Sox can use their full lineup again in Anaheim.

Cora's memories of Colorado

Two memorable things happened to Cora in Colorado during his playing career. The first was on July 27, 2000. Playing for the Dodgers, he went 4-for-5 with two homers and five RBIs. It was the only two-homer of his career.

Then there was the ultimate: On Oct. 28, 2007, Cora celebrated with the Red Sox as they clinched a sweep of the World Series against the Rockies.

"It's very special," Cora said of Coors Field. "What we did in '07 was very special. We were talking about it, me and Jason [Varitek] today. That team was very close to start putting a lot of runs on us. They had 10 or 11 days off after the NLCS.

"They tried to do everything possible to stay sharp, but they had to face Josh [Beckett], they had to face Curt [Schilling] right away. They were throwing the ball outstanding. In Game 3, Game 4, you could see it. Offensively, they were a force. Besides winning the whole thing, the coolest thing out of the two games we played here was when [Troy Tulowitzki] was coming up to hit. That chant was amazing. That's 60,000 people doing it for that guy. It was fun. It was pretty cool."

These days, Cora draws inspiration from the 2007 Rockies rather than the '07 Red Sox when it comes to his current team. Colorado won 21 of 22 to make the playoffs that year. The Sox are going to need a similar stretch to get to October. And in a reverse kind of way, Dustin Pedroia keeps reminding Cora he was on the 2011 Red Sox, who became the first team in history to have a nine-game lead on Sept. 1 and miss the playoffs.

"It's just a reminder that a lot of things can happen in a month and two weeks," Cora said. "We're here and there are a lot of good memories here for some of us. And what that team did in 2007 when they won 21 of 22, there we go. Then they beat the Padres and swept everybody, so that's baseball. It's a good reminder."