By Terry Lyons, Editor-in-Chief (On-site at Fenway Park)
BOSTON – Red Sox left-hander David Price went 9-2 with a 2.98 ERA in 16 starts last season. At times, that didn’t seem quite good enough for the demanding city of Boston and its spoiled fan base. Price has endured, used the frosty fan and media relationships to fuel his passion and, with last year’s World Series ring in his possession, earned his first win of 2019, a 4-0 Red Sox victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
Today, the lefty who shares the title of franchise “ace” with Chris Sale, threw seven innings of three-hit, shutout baseball, striking out seven Orioles while throwing 92 pitches (64 strikes) on his first start at Fenway this year. Price gave way to RHP Ryan Brasier in the 8th inning, holding a 1-0 lead.
Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts was responsible for all four runs the Red Sox scored today, hitting a sacrifice fly to score Steve Pearce in the 4th inning and then sealing the Price victory with a three-run homer in the home half off the 8th inning. Bogaerts took a 1-1 pitch deep, hitting the ball 418-feet to the batting eye in dead center field. It was his second HR of the season.
Matt Barnes relieved Brasier in the 9th inning, walked Trey Mancini, allowed a base hit to Hanser Alberto, but managed to retire the side and close-out the game by striking out Orioles first baseman Chris Davis looking.
Price earned the win and is (1-1) while Orioles LHP John Means (1-2) took the loss. There was no save credited with the 4-0 margin.
NOTES: The final game of this four-game series is scheduled for Monday, April 15 at 11:05am as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts celebrates Patriots’ Day and the anniversary of minuteman Paul Revere’s historic ride and the Battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775, a year before the USA’s independence. The State holiday also marks the running of the annual Boston Marathon, the “Carnegie Hall” of all races. … Boston has been scheduled for a home game at Fenway Park every year since 1959, with the only games to be postponed coming in (1959, 1961, 1965, 1984 and 2018). The game was not played in 1995 with the MLB Players out on strike. … The Sox are 70-52 (.574) all-time on Patriots’ Day with the club winning 12 of the last 17 Patriots’ Day tilts. … The Red Sox are planning to throw RHP Hector Velazquez (0-0, 2.79 ERA) on Monday while the Orioles will start RHP Dan Straily (0-1, 19.29) … Going into today’s game, Red Sox relievers combined to post a 2.95 ERA while holding opponents to a .198 batting average. … Jackie Bradley Jr. was scratched from the starting lineup and the club announced he had a touch of the flu. … OF Andrew Benintendi, who was scheduled to have a day-off today, was inserted into the Red Sox starting lineup and batted first. Benintendi injured his right ankle/shin batting in the 3rd inning, but remained in the game and hit a double. Benintendi was then removed in the top of the 4th, had x-rays and is considered day-to-day being the pictures came back “negative.”