Two and a half seasons after he came to Boston, David Price is finally delivering the excitement that accompanied his arrival.
“This is the pitcher Boston signed,” the Red Sox lefty said after pitching eight innings of three-hit, shutout ball to beat the Cleveland Indians, 7-0, on Thursday at Fenway Park. “For me to get back to that, it’s about time.”
Price (14-6) earned his fifth straight win, getting three bases-loaded double plays in a six-run fifth inning to help the Red Sox split their four-game series with the AL Central-leading Indians. After losing the first two games, Boston won twice in 20 hours to open a 9 1⁄2-game lead over the idle Yankees in the AL East.
The Red Sox, who have the best record in baseball at 90-39, have not lost four games in a row all season, and they are the only team in the majors that has not been swept.
“Hopefully we can be the first to 100, too,” said Blake Swihart, who entered the game as a pinch-runner when Mitch Moreland bruised his knee and delivered the go-ahead double in the fifth.
Adam Plutko (4-4) matched him into the fifth, when Sandy Leon led off with a ground-rule double and moved to third on Jackie Bradley Jr.’s single. One out later, Plutko walked the bases loaded and then gave up Swihart’s line drive to right-center that made it 2-0.
Tigers 7, White Sox 2: Mikie Mahtook hit one of three home runs in the sixth inning for host Detroit.
Matthew Boyd (8-11) pitched six scoreless innings, and Nicholas Castellanos, Mahtook and Ronny Rodriguez hit solo shots off James Shields (5-15) in the sixth.
Rockies 4, Padres 3: Ian Desmond hit a walk-off two-run, two-out homer in the ninth inning, and host Colorado celebrated the return of the 38-year-old outfielder Matt Holliday.
“When something special is happening, you find ways to win games,” said Holliday, who wore a pair of black spikes that the clubhouse manager dug out of storage from 2007 since Holliday had only a gray pair. “Those are important wins and a huge swing by Ian.”
Desmond lined an 88-mph splitter from reliever Kirby Yates (4-3) over the fence in left after Trevor Story singled earlier in the ninth and stole second. It was Desmond’s second career walk-off homer.