Coming into this Red Sox - Rockies game, it seemed like a mismatch, heavily favoring the home team. Coming out of it...yeah, that was about right.
This, frankly, was a strange outing for David Price. Not because it was bad, but because it feels like it could have been better. He really had his off-speed pitches working tonight. A loopy curveball was getting batters to swing even when it bounced, and the changeup was getting easy ground balls exactly as it's supposed to. But he used them relatively sparingly, and it was only on the fastball and cutter that he ever got hurt.
The first time that happened, it wasn't really much of a run. In the second, Price allowed his first baserunner of the game by walking Ryan Raburn. Behind him, Gerardo Parra flipped a sinking line drive into left field. It shouldn't have been good for more than a single, but Chris Young sold out trying to catch it, and when it got by him, Raburn was able to race all the way home. A tag at the plate had him out to start, but replay clearly showed the tag--up on the body--came after the foot got in.
The second time? It was much, much louder, with Charlie Blackmon pouncing on a cutter that trailed back across the inside part of the zone, crushing a no-doubt homer to right field.
But ultimately, it was a curveball that would give the Astros their last run against Price in the seventh. Or at least would do the real work, with Carlos Gonzalez clearing one out and finding the gap, letting it roll all the way to the 420 mark in the triangle for a triple. Price might actually have had a shot at keeping it out, but the Rockies opted for a squeeze play down five, and the Red Sox were certainly happy to take that exchange to get Price through seven.
So not Price's best outing, but quite good, arguably better than the results, and maybe could've been better still. Another positive sign that the ace is here, even if he was a month late in showing up.
And against this Boston lineup, three runs is certainly not going to be enough on most days. Facing a pitcher whose ERA was over 10 to begin the day, the Red Sox did what they were supposed to do, and knocked it up over 11. David Ortiz drove in two runs in the first after hits from Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts. Jackie Bradley extended his hitting streak on the first pitch he saw in the second, then scored when Christian Vazquez hit the same triple Gonzalez would, just five innings earlier. Vazquez would score himself on a sacrifice fly from Mookie Betts.
The Sox took a brief break from scoring in the third, but got back to it in the fourth. De La Rosa would walk the two batters ahead of David Ortiz, and the results were predictable: a two-run double. Hanley Ramirez would reach after taking a pitch off the foot--he would leave the game between innings, with X-Rays thankfully proving negative--giving Chris Young a chance to drive in Papi with a single up the middle to make it seven runs for the Red Sox.
Boston would add an eighth in the eighth, but the one thing they didn't do: go deep. That's the first time that's been true in 22 games. Oh well, they'll take their eleven games over .500 in a season where eight runs has ceased to be truly noteworthy. Not a bad place to be.