ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — David Price was solid in his return to the Red Sox rotation, allowing four singles over seven scoreless innings of Boston’s 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night.
The five-time All-Star, slowed by injury much of 2017, struck out five and walked none in his first start for the defending AL East champions since last July, when he went on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation.
Rafael Devers snapped a scoreless tie with a single up the middle that drove in Xander Bogaerts, who doubled off Chaz Roe (0-1) leading off the seventh inning to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.
A night after scoring six eighth-inning runs to rally from a 4-0 deficit and win the season opener, the Rays only managed to get one runner as far as second base.
Matt Barnes pitched a scoreless eighth for the Red Sox, who won for the first time under manager Alex Cora. Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth to finish the combined four-hitter.
Price’s start was his first since July 22 against the Los Angeles Angels. He was placed on the disabled list three days later and worked exclusively out of the bullpen after being activated from the DL in mid-September.
In seven relief appearances, including the postseason, the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner allowed just eight hits over 15 1/3 scoreless innings.
Price was the first overall pick in the 2007 draft and pitched for Tampa Bay from 2008 to 2014. He improved to 4-3 in 10 appearances, including nine starts, against his old team.
Blake Snell allowed three hits, struck out two and walked two in 5 2/3 innings, extending a streak of scoreless frames at Tropicana Field to 23 2/3 dating to last September.
Roe replaced him with runners at first and third with two outs in the sixth, escaping the jam by striking out J.D. Martinez.
Red Sox: RHP Tyler Thornburg (thoracic outlet syndrome surgery) threw in a minor league spring training game. He missed all of last season. … LHP Drew Pomeranz (left forearm strain) had a lengthy bullpen two days after a minor league game.
Rays: RHP Nathan Eovaldi had arthroscopic surgery to remove loose bodies in his pitching elbow. “All went well. I think it was consistent with what the MRI and the X-rays showed, probably a little bit better in the fact it was pretty clean whatever was done or taken out,” manager Kevin Cash said.
Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (11-17, 4.65 ERA in 2017) starts Game 3 of the season-opening four-game series. The 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner went 2-4 with a 3.93 ERA in six starts against Tampa Bay last season, although he was 2-1 with a 1.27 ERA in three starts at Tropicana Field.
Rays: Cash planned to wait until after Friday night’s game to announce which multiple-inning reliever will start what team is calling a bullpen day, which is part of plan to use four-man rotation this season.
(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)