FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The first pitch that ace David Price threw in a game for the Red Sox was promptly knocked off the Green Monster at JetBlue Park by Brian Dozier for a leadoff double. However, the lefty doesn't have to make a true first impression until April 4, when he starts on Opening Day in Cleveland.
For Price, Thursday's Grapefruit League debut was part of the necessary process for getting ramped up for the start of what he hopes is a highly successful career in Boston.
Over three innings in an 8-2 loss to the Twins, Price gave up four hits, including back-to-back solo homers to Eduardo Escobar and Kurt Suzuki. Price walked one and struck out three.
Of Price's 51 pitches, 33 were strikes.
"I'm process oriented," said Price. "I'm not results oriented at all. You can't worry about the results. Have to stay focused on your process, and that's what I do. I went three innings, I don't know how many pitches I threw, but I know I can go back out there and give four more innings of no-run baseball and then I'm sitting there at seven innings with two runs and that's fine."
After years of competing against Price, the Red Sox are now pleased to be on the same side.
Price no longer does double takes when he sees David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia in the same clubhouse.
"Honestly I think I'm past that stage," said Price, who signed a seven-year, $217 million contract with the Red Sox in December. "Just being here with the guys for three, maybe four weeks now, that awkward stage is gone and we're focused on winning baseball games. Everybody is doing their job. Everybody is working extremely hard and we'll get it going."
Even if the overall results weren't spectacular, Price enjoyed being able to wiggle out of a jam in the first.
"Yeah, absolutely," said Price. "You never want to be in those, but you know at some point you're going to go out there and be in some jams. First pitch to Dozier was a double off the Monster, and then to leave him there after Danny Santana gets him over with a first-pitch ground ball to second base and a big out of Trevor Plouffe, that that first inning went well."
The back-to-back homers in the second merely served as a reminder to Price of what he has to fine-tune before his next start on Wednesday.
"In this league, if you don't execute, those guys are good. Every hitter at this level, they've proved they can swing the bat," said Price. "Whenever you don't execute, they always get hit hard."
As his interview concluded, Price already seemed to be focusing himself for the continuation of the process.
"I feel good today," Price said. "I want to feel good tomorrow, and then in five days from now, I expect to go out there and get after it."
It is a cycle Red Sox fans are looking forward to watching repeatedly over the next seven years.