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Closing Time: Clay Buchholz picks up win in relief as Red Sox beat Blue Jays in extra innings 05.29.16 at 5:25 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz suffered the loss in his first appearance out of the bullpen. (Dan Hamilton/USA Today Sports)

Clay Buchholz earned the win in his first appearance out of the bullpen. (Dan Hamilton/USA Today Sports)

It wasn’t easy, but the Red Sox came away with the win.

With the game tied at three in the 11th inning, Dustin Pedroia hit a ground-rule double scoring Blake Swihart who walked to open the frame and that was followed by a RBI ground out from Xander Bogaerts as the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 5-3 in 11 innings.

Clay Buchholz picked up the win in his first appearance since 2008. The right-hander threw a scoreless 10th inning and Koji Uehara earned the save with a scoreless 11th.

Buchholz and Uehara were able to save the Red Sox bullpen, which blew a lead earlier in the game.

With the Red Sox leading 3-2 in the eighth inning, Edwin Encarnacion laced a solo home run to tie the game at three off reliever Heath Hembree. This spoiled David Price’s start as he gave the Red Sox the start they needed coming in losers of three straight.

Making his first start in Toronto against his former team, Price was solid. The left-hander went 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits while walking three and striking out three. The three strikeouts were tied for the fewest in a game this season. His only mistake came in the fifth inning when he allowed a two-run home run to Bautista.

With Bautista coming up with one out and the tying run at second base in the seventh inning, Price was removed from the game in favor Hembree. Hembree was able to strike Bautista out and then retire Josh Donaldson to get out of the jam.

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Read More: Clay Buchholz, David Price, Dustin Pedroia, heath hembree
Sunday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: David Price vs. R.A. Dickey at 9:07 am ET
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Looking to avoid a three-game sweep in Toronto, the Red Sox will send out former Blue Jay David Price to square off against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey in Sunday afternoon’s series finale.

Price comes in with a 7-1 record, 5.34 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. He leads the league with 76 strikeouts and an average of 11.0 strikeouts per nine innings. After a disappointing first month with the Red Sox, the left-hander is coming off three straight quality starts (all wins). His last outing was last Tuesday against the Rockies, when he pitched seven innings and allowed three runs on five hits and a a walk with six strikeouts, and the Boston offense provided him with plenty of support in an 8-3 win.

“To go out there, knowing you don’t have to be perfect, it’s huge,” Price said afterward. “At some point, we’re going to struggle offensively. That’s when the pitchers are going to have to come together.”

In 22 career starts against Toronto, Price is 17-2 with a 2.42 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. He has more wins against the Jays than any other team he’s faced. Price last faced Toronto on April 16 and gave up two runs on six hits with no walks and nine strikeouts in seven innings as Boston grabbed a 4-2 win.

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Closing Time: Jackie Bradley extends streak, David Price wins 7th as Red Sox cruise past Rockies 05.24.16 at 10:08 pm ET
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David Price and the Red Sox cruised on Tuesday. (Greg M. Cooper-USA Today Sports)

David Price and the Red Sox cruised on Tuesday. (Greg M. Cooper-USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox have made it look easy for a while now, and Tuesday night was no exception.

Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts extended their respective hitting streaks, ageless wonder David Ortiz drove in four more runs, and David Price delivered his third straight solid start to pace an 8-3 rout of the Rockies.

“The offense has been there right from pretty much the first week of the season,” said manager John Farrell. “The way we get out to early leads, if our starters throw strikes, they can manage some big innings and they’re going to have a pretty good chance to be right in the mix if they get into the middle-to-late innings of a game. It’s fun to watch. Our guys are confident and we’re never giving at-bats away.”

Wasting no time getting on the board, the Sox jumped out to a 2-0 lead after four batters, with Ortiz driving in Dustin Pedroia (3 hits) and Bogaerts with one out in the first inning.

The haste did not just come with the scoring, either. Both Bradley (28) and Bogaerts (17) extended their hitting streaks in their first at-bats, while Price struck out four of the first 12 batters he faced.

Price climbed to 7-1 and dropped his ERA from 5.53 to 5.34, giving up three runs and five hits while striking out six over seven innings. Once again, he was the beneficiary of huge run support.

“It’s huge,” he said. “It’s something I’ve gotten I think every start. We’ve done a tremendous job of scoring a lot of runs early, especially in the first inning. To go out there and know you don’t have to be perfect every pitch, it definitely takes a lot of stress off the starting pitcher. It’s huge.”

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Read More: David Price, jackie bradley jr., Red Sox, Rockies
Tuesday’s Red Sox-Rockies matchups: David Price vs. Jorge De La Rosa at 9:33 am ET
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The Red Sox will send ace David Price to the mound Tuesday to open a three-game series against the Rockies. He will face off against fellow left-hander Jorge De La Rosa.

Price enters Tuesday’s game with a 6-1 record, a 5.53 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. The 30-year-old has the most strikeouts in the American League (70) and the fifth-most wins. After a rough start to the season, Price has returned to his old form as of late, surrendering only three earned runs in his last two starts. He most recently hurled 7 1/3 innings of two-run ball in a 5-2 win against the Royals last Wednesday. The left-hander also struck out five and only walked one.

“I felt like that’s the best I’ve commanded all my pitches from the beginning until I was taken out,” Price said after the game. “That’s definitely a step in the right direction.”

Price will be looking for his first win vs. the Rockies, as he is 0-2 with a 5.93 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP when facing the National League team. In his last start against Colorado as a member of the Rays in 2013, Price let up four earned runs and 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings, walking three and hitting one batter.

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Closing Time: David Price, Jackie Bradley Jr. highlight Red Sox’ Game 2 win over Royals 05.18.16 at 11:21 pm ET
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The developments in Game 2 might not have come as a surprise, but they were notable, nonetheless.

The Red Sox left Kansas City with a split in their Wednesday doubleheader with the Royals, claiming a 5-2 win in Game 2 at Kauffman Stadium. That gave John Farrell’s club its 25th win.

But it was what David Price and Jackie Bradley Jr. did within the win that truly highlighted the victory.

For Price, it marked his second straight standout start, this time allowing just two runs over 7 1/3 innings. The starter mixed in all his pitches while managing five strikeouts (and one walk), with his fastball living between 92-95 mph. He finished throwing 108 pitches.

According to BrooksBaseball.net, Price threw his fastball and cutter both 34 times, while managing to toss 15 of his 19 changeups for strikes. He got eight swings and misses on his cutter, and just one on the heater.

Price has now allowed three runs over 14 innings in his last two starts, dropping his ERA to 5.53.

Offensively, it was Jackie Bradley Jr. who jump-started things with a second-inning home run. The two-out, solo blast also extended the outfielder’s hit streak to 24 games, the longest of any Red Sox hitter since David Ortiz’s 2013 run of 27 in a row.

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Wednesday’s Red Sox-Royals Game 2 matchups: David Price vs. Edinson Vólquez at 3:19 pm ET
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The Red Sox will send ace David Price to the hill against Edinson Vólquez for game 2 of a doubleheader vs. the Royals on Wednesday night.

It hasn’t been the start to the season that Price has hoped for, despite holding a 5-1 record. He also has a 6.00 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP in eight starts. However, the 2012 AL Cy Young winner had a solid outing in his last appearance on Thursday after adjusting his pitching mechanics. Price struck out 12 and allowed only six hits and one earned run in 6 2/3 innings in an 11-1 Red Sox win against the Astros. It was the third time that the southpaw recorded at least ten strikeouts this season.

“I allowed myself to get into my power position,” Price said following his performance. “It’s something I’ve worked on for the last four days leading up to this start. It was a big key for me and it helped out a lot.”

Price has pitched vs. the Royals six times in his career, earning a 2-0 record, a 1.93 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP. His ERA facing Kansas City is his third best behind only the Dodgers and the Pirates. The 30-year-old last squared off against the Royals in Game 6 of the 2015 ALCS, receiving a no-decision after allowing three earned runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings pitched.

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Closing Time: Red Sox offense continues hot streak, David Price improves in win over Astros 05.12.16 at 10:06 pm ET
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Xander Bogaerts hit his third home run of the season in the Red Sox' win. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Xander Bogaerts hit his third home run of the season in the Red Sox’ win. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

It doesn’t matter who is on the mound against the Red Sox of late, they are going to get to them.

Thursday night it was 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel, as the Red Sox roughed him up for eight runs in six innings as the Red Sox beat the Astros 11-1.

It was the Red Sox’ fifth straight win, which is their longest win streak of the season. They have scored double-digit runs in four straight games, which is the first time any major league team has done so since the Red Sox in 2007.

As has been the case of late, the Red Sox scored twice in the first inning courtesy of a two-run home run into the Monster seats by Xander Bogaerts. It was his third homer of the season. Since April 11, the Red Sox have outscored opponents 40-11 in the first inning.

After the Astros scored a run in the top of the second, the Red Sox responded with a run of their own in the bottom half on a Jackie Bradley Jr. single up the middle. They scored two more in the third inning on back-to-back doubles by David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez then scored on a wall-ball single from Chris Young.

Mookie Betts added a three-run home run in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach and then the Sox added three more in the late innings.

Putting his new mechanics to work for the first time, David Price seemed to find something. Price was reaching the mid-90s consistently with his fastball and most importantly, was getting late action on all of his pitches.

Although it wasn’t dominant by any means, it was a big step in the right direction for the left-hander. Price went 6 2/3 innings and allowed one run on six hits, while walking a batter and striking out 12. He struck out four straight batters at two different points of the game and also recorded the first six outs of the game via strikeout.

“He obviously struck us out a lot,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “We had a hard time making contact against him, even in situations where contact would have benefited us. He was attacking the strike zone very early. He had his fastball and his changeup going. He didn’t throw a ton of breaking balls, he didn’t have to. He was really the aggressor tonight and threw a good game.”

In relief of Price, Junichi Tazawa went 1 1/3 scoreless innings before handing the ball over to Heath Hembree for the ninth.

Closing Time note

The Red Sox are now 13-6 when facing former Cy Young Award winners since the start of last season. Those pitchers are a combined 2-11 with a 5.18 ERA in those games.

Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:

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Read More: David Price, jackie bradley jr., mookie betts, xander bogaerts
Thursday’s Red Sox-Astros matchups: David Price vs. Dallas Keuchel at 8:41 am ET
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David Price

David Price

It will be a battle between former Cy Young winners Thursday when the Red Sox open up a four-game series with the Astros at Fenway. David Price will get the start against fellow left-hander Dallas Keuchel.

Despite his 4-1 record, Price has not been the dominant pitcher he was during his time with the Rays, Tigers and Blue Jays. The southpaw has a 6.75 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP in seven starts. His last performance came Saturday against the Yankees and resulted in an 8-2 Red Sox defeat and Price’s first loss of the season. The 2012 AL Cy Young winner let up seven hits and six earned runs in 4 2/3 innings pitched.

Thursday’s game will be Price’s first start since Dustin Pedroia found something wrong with Price’s mechanics during a video session. The second baseman noticed that Price’s hands and legs were not in sync during his windup. Manager John Farrell and pitching coach Carl Willis also noted that Price’s leg kick has reduced, providing a possible cause for the pitcher’s decreased velocity.

“My hands have stayed right here, and that’s not allowing me to get my full leg lift,” Price explained. “It’s been about a half of a leg lift of what I’m used to, and it takes away the rhythm of what I do out there on the mound. Whenever my hands stay here, I have to be able to time it up perfect for me to be able to execute that pitch. It gives me no margin of error because I don’t have that rhythm.”

Price has faced the Astros six times in his career, earning a 3-2 record with a 2.89 ERA and an impressive 0.916 WHIP. His last start against Houston was a no-decision on May 21 of last year. He surrendered five hits and two earned runs and recorded a whopping 12 strikeouts in helping the Tigers to a 6-5 win.

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Curt Schilling on D&C: David Price’s struggles have ‘a lot to do with durability and stamina’ 05.11.16 at 11:54 am ET
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Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling

Former ESPN analyst Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Wednesday morning to talk about David Price’s pitching troubles and his old employer. To listen to the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Price has not lived up to the huge contract he signed as a free agent in the offseason,  posting a 6.75 ERA and 1.38 WHIP through his first seven games in a Red Sox uniform. Schilling said recent conversation about Price’s leg kick misses the point, because the focus should be on Price’s arm extension.

“The analogy I tried to use is when you slam the brakes on the car, the car doesn’t immediately stop, because if the car stopped immediately it would throw everything through the window,” Schilling said. “So when you slam the brakes on a car, it decelerates and then stops. If you look at David Price’s delivery, he has that recoil. Physically, you have to begin to decelerate to recoil before you finish. So if you think about it, you have to begin to slow your arm down before you actually finish your throw, because you’re coming back the other way. …

“I think it has a lot to do with durability and stamina over the years with your arm, No. 1, I think it takes away velocity as you do it. Physically, it’s much more demanding than throwing a normal pitch. But when you’re throwing the ball 97, 98, you can make marginal mistakes that you can’t make at 93 or 94, No. 1. Now, the other piece is, I say this in context: David Price’s secondary stuff has never been exceptional. He has a good curveball, he has a good changeup, and he has a good slider, but it’s not like [Clayton] Kershaw’s curveball or Randy Johnson’s slider or [Greg] Maddux’s changup. They’re all, to me, average pitches. They’re above average when you throw 98. They’re not above average when you throw 93, 94, 95. And the biggest issue for me: That, to me, speaks to his October troubles. In October, you have to command perfectly to be dominant, I think.”

Added Schilling: “You ever been at a bar shooting darts? You know when you throw a dart and you finish the throw, like you throw and you leave your hand out in front of you? You’re a hundred times more accurate than when you throw and you pull your hand back, you quick-flick it. Exactly the same thing pitching. When you finish a pitch and you stay down and extend, you command the ball a lot better. When you throw the ball and recoil, you give away command. You take all of those things together, and I think that’s why you have a guy not throwing as hard.

“It’s not physical. It’s not a physical injury. There’s no possible way. If he was hurt he’d be throwing the ball 87. But you take all those things together and you reduce the velocity, again, to me, with the average kind of secondary stuff, and you have what you have right now. And all of that adds up to the worst possible thing, which is a crisis in confidence, which is what I think he has. I went through it. And honest to God, you were literally afraid of contact. And you pitch away from the bat, which is the worst possible thing you can do.”

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Red Sox pitching coach Carl Willis: Bullpen session showed ‘difference’ in David Price 05.09.16 at 9:37 pm ET
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Carl Willis

Carl Willis

As far as bullpen sessions go, this might have been a pretty important one.

David Price got his first chance to try out the adjustments suggested by Red Sox manager John Farrell, pitching coach Carl Willis, and Dustin Pedroia, who helped identified a flaw in the pitcher’s delivery.

“Very good,” said Willis when asked how Price’s pregame session went, Monday afternoon at Fenway Park. “Honestly, there was a difference when he was warming up, throwing flat ground before he got to the mound. He was getting to his back leg a little better, creating a better angle with his upper body and it translated over to the mound. He felt very good about it.

“It was the height of his leg kick, we identified that, we talked to him yesterday and I think Pedey was looking at some videos of himself watching left-handed pitchers and ran across one with David. What it comes down to is the hands and the knee-lift being connected. His hands had gotten a little stuck. I think as he had shortened his knee lift, he had stopped raising his hands, so we’re kind of syncing those two together. He’s just buying himself more time over the rubber to get into that back leg and create some leverage.”

(See videos at the bottom of this entry for differences in how Price was executing his pitching motion.)

The proof of any fix will have to wait until Price’s next start, which is scheduled for Thursday against the Astros. Along with trying to cut into the lefty’s 6.75 ERA (the highest of any qualifying MLB starting pitcher), there will also be a keen eye on what kind of velocity the changes muster.

Price’s max velocity (93.5 mph) in his 4 2/3-inning, six-run outing against the Yankees was the lowest of any of his previous 220 big league regular-season starts.

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