For Openers, David Price was worth every penny of the $217 million the Red Sox shelled out for the star southpaw starter who is 1-0 after a 6-2 Red Sox Opening Day win over the Indians.
“That was a good win,” Price said. “We thew the ball well at times, we had some good defensive plays, and big hits. And that’s what you have to be able to do. The guys that came in after me, they threw the ball extremely well, and that was all a part of it.”
Price came up all ace in his Sox debut on Opening Day in Cleveland, leaving the game after six innings having given up just five hits — all singles — two runs to go along with a career-high 10 strikeouts and only two walks. The mild-mannered lefty sat down nine of the first 11 batters he faced, six by the way of the K Don Orsillo. Boston’s No. 1 starter called it a day after throwing 103 pitches, 71 for strikes in shutting down a hapless Indians lineup with a sharp curve and not-exactly-overpowering fastball that typically averages 94 MPH heat.
“David Price makes a couple of big pitches, particularly in the second inning, and really set the tone for us from the mound.” manager John Farrell said of Price’s performance that saw the southpaw pitch no-hit ball over the first three innings.
Price got his revenge on the cold in his Boston debut and was only nicked for two runs in the fourth inning on four base hits, one a Yan Gomes grounder just out of the reach of second baseman Dustin Pedroia. But Price bounced back with shutdown innings in the fifth and sixth before hitting the clubhouse.
David Price fastball velocity 90-91 mph through first couple innings. Just saying.
— Pluto is a Planet (@bad_stevenz) April 5, 2016
With the win, Price improves to 10-2 in 14 career starts against the Indians with a nasty 2.25 ERA in 92.1 innings pitched.
David Price has his 30th career 10+ strikeout game, 1 shy of the AL lead since 2009 (Felix Hernandez & Chris Sale, 31 each).
— Jon Shestakofsky (@Shesta_HOF) April 5, 2016
In the fifth inning, Mookie Betts made a big time catch that ultimately saved a run with the score 2-2 and the Tribe primed for a big inning with this web gem:
Mookie Betts makes a game saving catch in the 5th inning in Cleveland. Nine strikeouts for David Price. 2-2 in the 5th inning, but the Red Sox are knocking.
Posted by Steve Silva on Tuesday, April 5, 2016
“Needed it. Needed it. That was a big catch,” Price said of the Betts’ grab. “…To be able to make that play, that’s huge. That’s why he has Jordans on his feet, he can hang in the air a little bit longer than anybody else.”
David Price is the first pitcher with 10 strikeouts in his Red Sox debut since Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2007.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 5, 2016
Betts homered for the second Opening Day in a row to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead in the third. A bloop single to left by Brock Holt off Indians starter Corey Kluber drove in Hustling Hanley Ramirez in the sixth inning. A Kluber wild pitch allowed Travis Shaw to cross the plat for the Red Sox fourth run. Price called it a day with the Red Sox holding a 4-2 lead when Junichi Tazawa entered the game in the bottom of the seventh.
— Joe Giza (@JoeGiza) April 5, 2016
“You want to star off with a ‘W’ and we did that today,” Betts said after the game.
David Ortiz went deep for the fifth time in his career on Opening Day in the ninth inning, the two run shot plating Dustin Pedroia ahead of Big Papi gave the Sox a 6-2 lead that would hold up at Progressive Field.
“The light goes on, Papi goes on,” Ortiz said after the win.
Kent State alum Travis Shaw — the man who would replace Pablo — went 2-for-5 with three strikeouts on the day.
The Red Sox pitchers held the Tribe scoreless for the final five innings and retired 13 consecutive Indians before closer Craig Kimbrel issued a walk in the ninth. But Kimbrell picked up the final outs by firing 95-97 MPH fastballs to finish off Cleveland.