By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox picked up their 100th win of the season Wednesday night thanks to another gem from starter David Price.
The Blue Jays were the latest victims of the Price’s dominant second-half run, as he shut down the Toronto bats for seven innings in Boston’s 1-0 victory. The Jays stood little chance against Price, who was perfect for 4.1 innings before Yangervis Solarte sent a harmless single to center in the fifth. He was one of only three batters to reach base against Price, and none of the three made it any further than second base. Price struck out seven batters and issued no walks, with 62 of his 93 pitches going for strikes.
Price had all of his pitches going Wednesday, but his changeup was his best weapon. He finished off four of his strikeouts with the pitch, ending his evening by getting Jays left fielder Teoscar Hernandez to wave helplessly at a 87 MPH changeup to preserve Boston’s 1-0 lead.
“It was a very big pitch. Being able to throw it if I was behind in the count, or ahead in the count being able to locate it down, that’s a big key for that pitch for me,” Price said after the win, his 15th on the season. “To be able to execute that pitch, for the most part wherever I was trying to throw it, that was big.”
The seven dominant innings is just another chapter in Price’s best stretch in a Boston uniform. Since the All-Star break, Price is 5-0 with a 1.56 ERA in nine starts.
Price said he’s honored to earn the victory for Boston’s 100th win of the season, something the franchise hadn’t done since 1946.
“Pretty crazy,” he said. “As a storied franchise as the Red Sox are, that’s pretty cool. They’ve had a lot of really good teams here and to be in that same conversation with those teams, that’s a lot of consistency.”
But the most important win is the next one, a mantra the Red Sox have carried throughout the season.
“The main goal now is to win 101,” Price continued. “Like I said, this team is real focused on today. Today is over, so we want to get to 101. That’s what we’ve done all year long. That’s why we have 100 wins right now. That’s what we need to continue to do.”
This run by Price is exactly what the Boston staff needs with their unreliable bullpen and ace Chris Sale still on the mend. The Red Sox are the best team in baseball and have a massive pile of victories to back that statement up, but they’re not without their questions heading into October. Price’s playoff track record is among them, and until he puts up zeros in the postseason, there will be doubt as to whether or not he can win on the mound when it matters most.
But if he keeps pitching the way he has for the last nine weeks, Price and the Red Sox should get plenty of opportunities to win games in October.