CHICAGO -- David Price returned to the mound for Boston, but it was the White Sox in a glorified bullpen day who came away with the 5-4 victory Monday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Price started the season on the disabled list due to a left elbow strain he suffered pitching a simulated game on Feb. 28. He allowed three runs on two hits over five innings, with the three coming home courtesy of Melky Cabrera's sixth home run in the third. Price struck out four and walked two, reaching 88 pitches.
"That's fun, just to get back out there in that type of environment. You can't simulate it anywhere else, other than the big leagues. I enjoyed it," said Price.
Cabrera drove in four, including the game-winner, during a two-run seventh. His single, barely outside the infield, brought home Kevan Smith from second. Reliever David Holmberg started for the White Sox, working four innings and yielding three runs, and he was followed by Gregory Infante, Juan Minaya, Tommy Kahnle and Player Page for David Robertson.
"He actually looks very, very calm out there right now, very poised," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said of Robertson, who picked up a save for the third day in a row. "There's a reason why he's able to effectively go through a lineup in those moments and be able to close out a ballgame. It doesn't always happen, but for the most part you feel very, very comfortable when he's out there on the hill and giving you what he's got."
Mookie Betts scored twice for Boston, including a solo homer in the fifth. The White Sox have won four of their past five games at home, coming off of a 3-7 road trip.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Hustler: Smith's double to right off of Matt Barnes scored Yolmer Sanchez with the game-tying run in the seventh, after Sanchez tripled to start the frame. But Smith was still on second with two outs when Cabrera blooped a jam-shot single toward center, which was grabbed by second baseman Josh Rutledge, who fired home to try to get Smith. The ball one-hopped past the attempted tag from catcher Christian Vazquez, and Smith scored. A good throw would have probably nailed the White Sox catcher.
"Cabrera nubs one, an infield single, we've got a catcher running out there so it was a ball that kind of eluded him," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "I think it was a long enough hop where he might be able to handle it but unfortunately it gets away from him, just an oddity."
Glove save: The combination of Xander Bogaerts and Rutledge kept Price in line for a victory in the fifth. With runners on first and third and one out, Bogaerts stabbed Cabrera's hard-hit grounder to his right and fired to Rutledge, who made a strong double-play turn. Cabrera tried diving head-first into first but came up short of beating the throw.
"You've got to have those plays. I mean, you don't have to have them, but to be able to have those great plays in those big situations, it's momentum, you know?" said Price. "To get those final two outs that way, there's a lot of momentum coming back to our dugout and before we hit. To be able to have those plays in that type of situation, it's huge."
"I don't care who I'm facing. It's just good to be out there and to go compete. I haven't been able to do that in close to eight months now, so to get out there and to do what I have a passion for, what I love, it's why you do it." -- Price
"I'm really honest with you guys. I don't read a whole lot in terms of the sports aspect because I know what happens between the lines. I know that all that I can control is what I do with my guys and what my guys do for us. At the end of the day, I won't know what's ultimately our fate until it's somewhere down the road. It doesn't do me any good to worry about where we are or not. It doesn't do them any good to worry about where we are or where we're not. I think when people talk about creating a sense of urgency so you can continue to push and put yourself someplace, they play with urgency every day. They do it with a desire to win and do what they need to do. We can only control the moments that we have before us. We can't control what's past and what's down the road. All I know is they're focused. Right now, we're going to enjoy this day because it's very hard to win a Major League ballgame. I want them to savor it, and then get ready to put it behind them and play tomorrow." -- Renteria, on looking at the standings
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Righty reliever Joe Kelly is quietly on fire for the Red Sox, turning in 10 straight scoreless outings over 10 innings.
FROM THE TRAINERS' ROOM
The Red Sox lost second baseman Dustin Pedroia to a sprained left wrist in the bottom of the second inning. Pedroia sustained the injury in a collision at first base with Jose Abreu in the top of the first. Abreu raced and dove into the bag to get Pedroia on a grounder, which left Pedroia without a path to finish running. X-rays taken at the ballpark came back negative. Pedroia flew back to Boston for further testing, including an MRI, which will happen Tuesday morning.
Red Sox:Chris Sale will make his much-anticipated first start against the White Sox since the trade that brought him to the Red Sox in December. As a starter at Guaranteed Rate Field, Sale is 40-23 with a 2.95 ERA. Watch on MLB.TV at 8:10 p.m. ET.
White Sox:Jose Quintana (2-6, 4.82) opposes his friend and former rotation mate in Game 2 of the series, with a 7:10 p.m. CT first pitch on MLB.TV. The southpaw is 3-0 with a 2.87 ERA lifetime against the Red Sox.
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