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Price sees stellar streak end, but health intact

Red Sox starter can't protect early lead in loss to Angels
MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- Though David Price's streak of allowing three earned runs or fewer in seven straight starts came to an end in Saturday night's 7-3 loss to the Angels, the left-hander continues to be an encouraging storyline for the Red Sox coming down the stretch.

After the scare of Spring Training, when Price suffered a left elbow injury that initially looked like it might require Tommy John surgery, the fact that he's going out there every fifth day with powerful stuff is a big deal for the Red Sox.

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ANAHEIM -- Though David Price's streak of allowing three earned runs or fewer in seven straight starts came to an end in Saturday night's 7-3 loss to the Angels, the left-hander continues to be an encouraging storyline for the Red Sox coming down the stretch.

After the scare of Spring Training, when Price suffered a left elbow injury that initially looked like it might require Tommy John surgery, the fact that he's going out there every fifth day with powerful stuff is a big deal for the Red Sox.

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Though Price gave up seven hits and six runs (five earned) over five innings, the radar gun readings reinforced his continued good health.

Price averaged 95.1 mph with his two-seamer in this one, and even threw one at 96.7.

"Felt good," said Price. "Felt better with fastball command early on and just kind of lost it there in the middle innings."

For Price, a couple of lapses in command was the only thing separating this performance with some of the vintage ones he's had of late.

And one of the reasons the lefty lost his command was because the Angels worked him hard to dig out of the 3-0 hole they were in after two innings.

The game unraveled for Price (5-3, 3.82 ERA) and the Red Sox in the bottom of the third, when the Angels scored four times.

Though a two-run homer by Andrelton Simmons was the turning point of the game, what set it up was a tremendous at-bat by Mike Trout, who worked Price for a nine-pitch walk.

"Yeah, you know, I threw a lot of pitches to him in that second at-bat. I wanted to get him out right there as well as Albert [Pujols] has swung the bat against me in his career," said Price. "That was a big out [not to get]."

Pujols followed the walk by Trout with a two-run double, and the Angels were within one, putting them in position to jump ahead on the homer by Simmons.

And in the fifth, Pujols was in the middle of another rally, this time with a single.

"If you don't execute at this level, it's going to get hit and it's going to get hit hard, especially by a guy of Albert's stature," said Price. "You don't execute against guys like that, it gets hit."

Making the night more difficult for the Red Sox was some sloppy defense. Xander Bogaerts made two errors. In the fifth, Ramirez cut a throw from Mookie Betts and made an out at third when the slow-footed Pujols was primed to get thrown out at the plate.

"Yeah, couple plays at shortstop with Bogey, those are plays he's typically made, whether it's the feed to Pedey or the ball he's going to field on the run when he's attacking a ground ball. They weren't made tonight," manager John Farrell said. "Those are plays typically he has made routinely. It looked like [Ramirez] got the feed or the relay throw in time, but whether or not he saw multiple runners off, he chose to go to third base and get a rundown there. It was an in-game decision right there in the moment."

For Price, not holding a 3-0 lead was the thing that irked him the most.

"That's what you hope for," Price said of the early lead. "If I get three runs as early as we did tonight, that should be enough. It wasn't the case tonight. Get ready for the next start."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, David Price