FORT MYERS, Fla. — David Price gave up consecutive homers in the middle inning of his Boston debut, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Red Sox 8-2 on Thursday.
Signed as free agent to a $217 million, seven-year contract to bolster a staff with the AL’s second-worst ERA last year, the 30-year-old left-hander threw 53 pitches in three innings, mostly fastballs.
"The body felt good," Price said. "I made some pitches, didn’t execute some but that’s to be expected right now."
The 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner and five-time All Star gave up Brian Dozier’s double on his first pitch. Eduardo Escobar and Kurt Suzuki homered over the left-field wall, with Suzuki’s drive caroming off the foul pole.
The lefty knows a lot will be expected of him with a high price tag.
"The expectations that I have for myself far exceed any manager or teammate or fans’ expectations for myself," he said. "If I can just go out there and throw the baseball the way that I’m capable of throwing it, then I’ll be satisfied."
Price allowed four hits, walked one and struck out three.
Manager John Farrell felt like his pitch total nearly went too far in his first outing.
"He was getting close to the limit for the day, being the first time he’s gone three innings," Farrell said. "We’ll look to add another 15 pitches to his next and begin to get into the 60, 65-pitch range."
Twins starter Ervin Santana, making his second appearance, needed only 26 pitches in three perfect innings that included three strikeouts.
Carlos Quentin also homered and had two hits along with Dozier and Escobar.
Twins: Santana was very pleased with his outing, which included consecutive strikeouts of David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval in the second. "I had very good command today, my fastball location, slider, change up," he said. He even went out to the bullpen and threw 20 extra pitches after he came out.
"I don’t think he sweated so much," manager Paul Molitor joked.
Red Sox: Price felt like he had good command of his cutter. He got two strikeouts swinging – Kennys Vargas and Trevor Plouffe – with cutters in the dirt. "I had a good feel for it, both inside to righties and back door," Price said. "It’s a big pitch for me. I feel like I can expand the strike zone a little bit for my fastball and changeup."
Twins: Molitor shifted Miguel Sano from right field to designated hitter just before the game because Sano has been doing a lot of defensive work lately and felt it was best to give him a break.
Red Sox: Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who injured his right knee during workouts nearly two weeks ago, threw on the side, but Farrell said "there’s no time frame" to get on a mound. . Right-hander Koji Uehara pitched in a simulated game on Wednesday and feels like he’s ready for exhibition action.
A swarm of bees went flying by Boston’s clubhouse about two hours before the game while Ortiz was outside on his cellphone, but no one was stung. On his first at-bat he fouled a ball off his right foot and limped badly, but stayed in the game.
WORKING ON IT
Ramirez, converted to a first baseman, turned and ran toward right field to go catch a foul pop but had the ball bounce in play behind him.
"The wind pushed it back down," Farrell said. "I think all those types of angles will be refined as he gets games under his belt."
Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson goes against Miami RHP Jarred Cosart.
Red Sox: RH knuckleballer Steven Wright faces Toronto’s RH Marcus Stroman.