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David Price following Wednesday’s loss: ‘I’m just bad right now’ 06.29.16 at 7:27 pm ET
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David Price allowing four runs in his fifth loss of the year Wednesday to the Rays. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

David Price allowing four runs in his fifth loss of the year Wednesday to the Rays. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

David Price didn’t make any excuses following the Red Sox’ 4-0 loss to the Rays in which he allowed four runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings to take his fifth loss of the season.

“It’s frustrating,” Price said to reporters. “It’s been my worst year. It’s unacceptable. I don’t care if I’m a rookie. It’s unacceptable. I’ve got to get better, and I will.”

As it stands now, the left-hander is 8-5 on the year with a 4.74 ERA. Price is currently No. 73 among 98 MLB starters who qualify in terms of ERA, which isn’t even close to what the Red Sox expected when they signed him this offseason.

“I’m so much better than this,” Price said. “I’ve just got to get better. It’s crushing me right now, but I’ll get there.”

Price gave up a solo homer to lead off the second inning then allowed two singles and two doubles in the third that plated three more runs.

“Bad. Again,” Price said. “I’m just putting us being the eight-ball early on in games. I’m not setting the tone the way that I need to. It’s tough.”

The left-hander walked one and struck out 10, to increase his strikeout total to 120, which tops in the American League. Of his 58 runs allowed this season, 24 (41 percent) have came via home run.

“I didn’t feel any different,” Price said. “Changeup, that’s probably the worst changeup I’ve had in probably a month. Curveball was awful. Can’t get my cutter or my slider where I want to. I’m just bad right now.”

Being 5 1/2 games out of first place, the Red Sox need Price to be better and be better soon.

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Closing Time: David Price, Red Sox drop rubber match to Rays to finish disappointing road trip at 3:00 pm ET
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David Price can't believe he gave up a homer to Brandon Guyer, either. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

David Price can’t believe he gave up a homer to Brandon Guyer, either. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Here we go again.

The momentum the Red Sox hoped to build after Tuesday’s 8-2 victory in Tampa lasted about 12 hours before the Rays sent the Sox crawling back to Boston with a 4-0 shutout that completed a disappointing 2-4 road trip.

David Price couldn’t stop the bleeding, allowing four runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out 10, but that was hardly what the Red Sox were looking for against the worst offense in the American League, which entered the series having lost 11 straight before taking two of three from the Red Sox.

“Bad. Again,” Price told reporters in Florida. “I’m just putting us behind the eight-ball early on in games. I’m not setting the tone the way that I need to. It’s tough. I’m so much better than this. I’ve just got to get better. It’s crushing me right now, but I’ll get there.”

Price wasted little time surrendering runs, starting with a Brandon Guyer 366-foot homer in the second inning in his first at-bat off the disabled list. In the third, the Rays went on a base hit spree, driving in three runs via singles and doubles.

With the home run to Guyer, Price has now allowed a homer in nine consecutive starts.

Price allowed a worrisome amount of hard contact, starting with Logan Forsythe’s ground-rule double leading off the first, though Price at least stranded him at third. From there, the Rays continued to tee off, with five of their nine hits going for extra bases.

Price (8-5) dropped to 1-4 this month.

“It’s been my worst year. It’s unacceptable,” Price told reporters. “I don’t care if I’m a rookie. It’s unacceptable. I’ve got to get better, and I will.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: David Price, David Price struggles, Matt Moore, Rays
Wednesday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: David Price vs. Matt Moore at 8:43 am ET
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The Red Sox will close out their three-game series with the Rays on Wednesday afternoon when David Price takes the mound opposite fellow southpaw Matt Moore.

Price, a former Cy Young winner, is 8-4 with a 4.68 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in his first season with the Red Sox. The American League leader in strikeouts (110) will look to bounce back against the lowly Rays after his worst outing this year. The 30-year-old survived only 2 1/3 innings in an 8-7 come-from-behind victory at Texas on Friday, allowing six runs on 12 hits while striking out only one. It was the fifth time in his eight-year career that Price failed to go longer than 2 1/3 innings.

“I’m definitely comfortable here, I just haven’t thrown the baseball [good],” Price said. “I’ve just got to come out and throw the baseball better against these guys.”

Having played for the Rays from 2008 to 2013, Price has faced his former team only four times. He is 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP against the Rays. He last faced Tampa Bay on April 21 of this season in a 12-8 Red Sox loss, as Price allowed eight runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings in a no-decision effort.

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Friday’s Red Sox-Rangers matchups: David Price vs. Nick Martinez 06.24.16 at 10:46 am ET
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The Red Sox will hand the ball to David Price on Friday night to begin a three-game series with the Rangers, who will counter with right-hander Nick Martinez.

Price, who is 8-4 with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.124 WHIP, is coming off of one of his best starts of the season on Sunday against the Mariners. In a 2-1 Red Sox win, Price pitched eight innings, giving up just one run (a home run) on eight hits and no walks with seven strikeouts.

“I think he’s just settled into what’s been his normal delivery for a number of years,” manager John Farrell said (via MLB.com) after the start. “You look at what he’s done over the last eight starts, it’s progressively getting better. He’s been more efficient with his pitch, not only his pitch mix, but the number of pitches thrown. He’s been quality locations throughout. It’s great to see a guy out and work like he does.”

“Unbelievable,” David Ortiz added about Price. “He’s pitching great. He’s one of the best pitchers in the game so it doesn’t surprise me. I knew things were going to get better and it was just a matter of time.”

Earlier in the season Price had ample support from the Sox offense, but over Price’s last four starts Boston has scored just seven runs.

Against the Rangers, Price is 3-4 in 11 career starts with a 5.15 ERA and a 1.361 WHIP. Price’s last start against the Rangers was in August of last year when he was a member of the Blue Jays. In that outing, Price went six innings, giving up two runs, five hits and one walk with eight strikeouts.

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Sunday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: David Price vs. Taijuan Walker 06.19.16 at 8:47 am ET
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The Red Sox will send ace David Price to the mound and the Mariners will dispatch 23-year-old right-hander Taijuan Walker to wrap up their three-game series on Sunday afternoon.

Price is 7-4 with a 4.52 ERA and a 1.135 WHIP in 14 starts. Last Wednesday, Price was outdueled by Orioles ace Chris Tillman in a 3-2 Red Sox loss. Price gave the Sox eight innings, allowing three runs on five hits (two home runs) and no walks with 11 strikeouts. In each of Price’s last six starts he has given up at least one home run.

“I’m better than three runs [allowed], I know that,” Price said after the start. “That’s what I’ve done my entire career. Whenever I get eight innings and three runs I’m not going to take that. I’ll take my chances and go out there to put up nine zeros. I’m getting there. I know that. This team and this coaching staff has confidence in me and we’ll continue to get better.”

In Price’s last seven starts he has pitched at least seven innings and given up fewer than three runs. Price also possesses the longest active streak of quality starts in the American League.

Against the Mariners, Price is 2-1 in five starts with a 2.48 ERA and a 0.800 WHIP. Price last faced the Mariners as a member of the Tigers in July 2015. In that start the 30-year-old lefty threw eight innings and allowed two runs on five hits and one walk with seven strikeouts in a 3-2 Mariners win.

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John Farrell on D&H: Friday’s game ‘the right opportunity’ for Roenis Elias 06.15.16 at 4:10 pm ET
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John Farrell

John Farrell

Red Sox manager John Farrell had his weekly appearance on Dale & Holley with Thornton on Wednesday to discuss the team’s fifth starter as well as provide injury updates. To hear the full interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

The Red Sox have been getting by with just four starters as of late thanks to a number of off days, but the time has come for a fifth starter to join the team for a matchup with the Mariners on Friday. Farrell has elected to go with Pawtucket pitcher Roenis Elias, who in 10 games in Triple-A this year is 4-3 with a 3.54 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.

“I think the one thing that we look at is that [choosing a fifth starter] goes directly into the decision for the starting matchup,” Farrell said. “If you look at the performance of left-handed vs. right-handed starters, there’s a decided difference in the performance and production when they’re facing right-handed starters. The fact that Elias has thrown the ball four out of the last five starts strong and gone deep in games, we felt like this was the right opportunity to get out here.”

The decision to have Elias start Friday was made easier with Joe Kelly suffering a groin injury a few weeks ago with Pawtucket. Kelly was demoted to the Triple-A affiliate after going 2-0 with an 8.46 ERA and 2.24 WHIP in six starts with the Red Sox. It has yet to be seen what Farrell will do with Kelly once the right-hander is healthy again.

“First of all, we got to get him back to the mound,” Farrell said. “There’s no time frame because of the right groin injury he sustained his last start there. … I would not rule out the potential of him being shifted to the bullpen at some point.”

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Read More: Brock Holt, Chris Young, David Price, Joe Kelly
Curt Schilling on D&C: ‘This is not the David Price they paid $217 million to get’ at 10:51 am ET
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David Price struck out eight more batters in his win Saturday afternoon. (Bob DiChiara/USA Today Sports)

David Price was a hard-luck loser Tuesday night. (Bob DiChiara/USA Today Sports)

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, making his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Wednesday morning, questioned whether David Price is worth the high price the Sox paid in the offseason. To hear the interview, go to the D&C audio on demand page.

Price pitched well Tuesday, at one point setting down 19 consecutive Orioles, but he was done in by two home runs in a 3-2 loss.

“When you pitch at the top of somebody’s rotation and you’re considered to be ‘the ace,’ you have to win 1-0 games,” Schilling said. “You have to win 2-1. You have to win 2-0. You have to win the games when your offense doesn’t score. Your offense’s output other than zero means less on the day you pitch than it does on other days, because you’re the ace. … When you’re up against somebody’s ace — which [Chris] Tillman was last night — you get the best of guys, so you have to be on top of your game. Last night he was good. [But] he got outpitched.”

Asked what Price would be scored on a scale of 1-10 for major league pitchers, Schilling said the left-hander is a 6.

“This is not the David Price they paid $217 million to get,” he said. “Stuff-wise, all of that stuff. I don’t think this is the guy. Last night when I saw him, the innings I was watching, he was 92-94 [mph]. The Price that you paid for was 96-98. I think it’s a natural regression. Your stuff starts to kind of go away [with age].”

Added Schilling: “His mechanics are not conducive to keeping his velocity up. I’ve said that all year long. If you watch him, every time he finishes delivering a pitch — for the most part — he’s a guy that stands straight up. He recoils a lot. And that’s not healthy for your arm. I’ve seen a lot of guys that do that — tons of guys that do that — and they lose their velocity faster than everybody else. It’s a physical thing.

“And the challenge is he was always that guy, the 200-inning guy and the ace guy, because his secondary stuff has never been exceptional. Which is OK, because he always had the velocity. But once the velocity starts to kick down, the secondary stuff has to get better, because if it stays the same it becomes even less effective. The innings that I watched last night he had a pretty good changeup. He struck out the side one inning. He had a decent changeup. But he’s never gone out there with a Clayton Kershaw curveball or a [Greg] Maddux changeup. He’s always had kind of average secondary stuff, I thought, in my opinion. And that’s a challenge when you lose your fastball.”

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Read More: Clay Buchholz, Curt Schilling, David Price, Roenis Elias
David Price not satisfied with Tuesday’s start: ‘I’m better than 3 runs, I know that’ 06.14.16 at 11:10 pm ET
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David Price wasn't satisfied with Tuesday's outing despite allowing three runs over eight innings. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

David Price wasn’t satisfied with Tuesday’s outing despite allowing three runs over eight innings. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Not only has David Price pitched like an ace of late, he’s also talking like one.

Price went eight innings allowing three runs on five hits (two home runs), while not walking a batter and striking out 11 on Tuesday. Despite the strong performance, the Red Sox still fell to the Orioles 3-2.

Over his last three starts, the left-hander is 0-3 and has allowed a total of eight runs in those games. While Price has put up solid numbers, he still wants to be even better to ensure the Red Sox get a win every time he takes to the mound.

“I’m better than three runs, I know that,” Price said. “That is what I have done my entire career. If you told me whenever I get to the field I can have eight innings and three runs, I’m not going to take that. I’ll take my chances and go up there and put up nine zeros. I’m getting there. I know that. This team has confidence in me, the coaching staff and I’ll continue to get better.”

It was Price’s seventh straight quality start, the longest active streak in the majors and longest by a Red Sox pitcher since Jon Lester recorded eight straight in the summer of 2014.

A lot of Price’s success has had to do with the adjustment he’s made with his delivery to get better timing. Over his first seven starts of the year Price had an ERA of 6.75, but in seven starts since, he has an ERA of 2.68, to lower his year ERA to 4.52.

“I’ve made a lot of adjustments throughout my career, whether it is start-to-start, inning-to-inning, or pitch-to-pitch,” he said. “It’s something I definitely hang my hat on being able to do. It’s tough to do it at this level and to expect to get good results, but I expect to get good results.”

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Closing Time: David Price dominates, but Red Sox offense comes up short in loss to Orioles at 9:57 pm ET
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David Price was dominant once again for the Red Sox. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

David Price was dominant once again, but the Red Sox fell to the Orioles. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

It was another impressive outing for David Price. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, it also was another loss.

Price pitched lights-out in the first game of a three-game series against the Orioles on Tuesday night, but the Boston bats couldn’t come through in a 3-2 loss. The Red Sox now are 1-11 when scoring less than three runs in a game this season.

The loss was Price’s third straight, despite allowing a combined seven runs in his last three starts. His first blemish of the night was a two-run home run given up to Manny Machado in the first inning. Machado curved the ball around the Pesky Pole to give the Orioles an early 2-0 lead.

After that, Price began to look like the ace he’s been expected to be. The left-hander retired 19 straight batters after the Machado homer, striking out nine batters in that span.

“I thought David threw a quality changeup here tonight, numerous times [a] swing-and-miss,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the game. “[He] was able to throttle guys back and forth, I thought he had very good location to his fastball both sides of the plate. … Eight strong innings by David tonight, I thought he pitched outstanding.”

However, Price slipped up in the eighth inning, as Jonathan Schoop hit the first pitch of the frame over the Green Monster to extend Baltimore’s lead, and it proved to be costly.

“The last one was a slider into Schoop, and I didn’t get it where I wanted to,” Price said. “It was kind of like the one that I gave up in San Fran, and that’s tough. I had the chance to put down a shutout inning and I wasn’t able to do that. … It’s tough, as the game goes on, I want to get better, and for the most part I did that, but one pitch in this game can lose it for you.”

Overall, Price allowed three runs on five hits in eight innings pitched. He struck out 11 and walked none in one of his strongest games of the year. Despite pitching so well as of late, Price has not notched a win since May 24 vs. Colorado. He’s struck out a combined 26 batters in the four starts since that 8-3 win against the Rockies.

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Tuesday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: David Price vs. Chris Tillman at 8:41 am ET
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The Red Sox will send ace David Price to the mound on Tuesday as they begin a three-game series against the visiting Orioles in a battle for first place in the AL East. Price will start opposite 28-year-old right-hander Chris Tillman.

In 13 starts Price is 7-3 with a 4.63 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. His 90 strikeouts are second best in the American League, but the 2012 Cy Young winner has lost his last two starts.

In a 2-1 loss at San Francisco last Wednesday, the southpaw pitched well in his first start at AT&T Park, allowing two runs and three hits in eight innings while striking out seven.

In 20 career starts facing the Orioles, Price is 8-4 with a 2.90 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. His last start against Baltimore came April 11 this year, when he let up five earned runs on five hits in five innings while striking out eight. Price received a no-decision in the game.

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