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BoSox's Price pitches well in Grapefruit debut

From ESPN - March 15, 2018

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Making his first Grapefruit League start -- and first start of any kind in a competitive environment since last July 22 -- Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price gave up one hit and one walk in four innings Thursday against a Toronto Blue Jays lineup that featured only three regulars. He established his fastball and cutter early on, then incorporated his changeup and even his curveball the second time through the batting order.

And when he was finished throwing 55 pitches (34 for strikes), as the Red Sox were still in the process of a 7-5 victory, Price praised the team for intentionally taking it more slowly than usual with him and fellow ace Chris Sale this spring in an attempt to keep them fresher and stronger late in the season.

"This is March 15 and I have never been able to have a four-pitch mix on March 15," Price said. "I have never been this far along in spring training even though I have only thrown in one game. I am excited about that."

Price has always been good at first impressions.

On Thursday morning, Red Sox manager Alex Cora recalled standing on third base in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 2008 American League Championship Series at Tropicana Field when Price, 15 months removed from getting drafted first overall by the Tampa Bay Rays, struck out J.D. Drew to hold a two-run lead. Price pitched a scoreless ninth inning, too, to clinch the pennant and send the Rays to the World Series.

"I saw him and was like, 'What's [then-Rays manager] Joe [Maddon] doing? It's supposed to be [reliever Grant] Balfour,'" Cora said. "I was like, 'What's going on here?' He looked that good. I saw him last year [in the playoffs] when he was really, really good."

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