TORONTO (AP) — David Price didn’t show much rust in his return from a sore wrist.
Price pitched 5 1-3 innings to win his first start since being diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, Hanley Ramirez hit a two-run home run and the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 on Saturday.
“It was good to get back out there,” Price said. “The more I threw, the better I felt. To me, that’s always a good sign.”
Price (3-4) skipped Wednesday’s start against the Yankees after experiencing numbness during a bullpen session last Sunday. Making his first start in nine days, the left-hander allowed two runs and five hits. He walked three and struck out six for his first victory since April 17. Price threw 93 pitches, 55 strikes.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora liked what he saw from Price.
“Changing speeds, using the breaking ball, elevating fastballs, that was good to see,” Cora said. “He competed. That’s all we want from him.”
Andrew Benintendi went 3 for 5 with two RBIs and Mookie Betts had three hits for the Red Sox, who have won 14 of their past 17 north of the border.
Betts said it was good to see Price back on the mound.
“It feels great knowing that he’s out there healthy,” Betts said. “He went out and did a great job at giving us a chance to win.”
Justin Smoak hit a solo home run for the Blue Jays, who have lost seven of 10 at home.
“We didn’t get much going off David,” manager John Gibbons said.
Price came in 0-3 in his previous three outings but avoided the first four-start skid of his career. He struck out four straight batters in the second and third innings.
Price improved to 18-3 against the Blue Jays in his career. He’s 12-1 in 17 starts at Rogers Centre, including 8-0 in 11 starts as a visitor. Price made six home starts for the Blue Jays in 2015 after being acquired from Detroit at the trade deadline.
“It’s always a place I’ve enjoyed pitching,” Price said of Toronto. “I like the mound. I look forward to it every time I get the ball here.”
Price left one batter after Smoak’s leadoff shot in the sixth. The homer was Smoak’s first since April 30 at Minnesota.
Carson Smith got two outs, Hector Velazquez and Joe Kelly each worked one inning and Craig Kimbrel finished for his 11th save in 13 chances.
Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada (2-3) allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings and is winless in four starts.
ON A ROLL
Ramirez has three home runs in his past four games, and nine RBIs in his past seven games.
Price would have stayed in to face Russell Martin in the sixth, but the delay caused by a fan running on to the field gave Smith more time to get ready. After police and security staff escorted the fan out the gate in right field, Cora came out to make the change.
Red Sox OF Jackie Bradley Jr. went 0 for 4 after sitting out the previous three games. He’s 5 for 54 with no extra-base hits and 26 strikeouts in his past 17 games.
“I think the rhythm was better but still, he was late with the front foot, missed some pitches in the strike zone,” Cora said. “We’re going to keep working. He’ll be out there tomorrow.”
Boston has scored five or more runs an ML-leading 24 times this season.
Blue Jays: Toronto added INF Gio Urshela to its roster and optioned OF Dalton Pompey to Triple-A Buffalo. Urshela was acquired in a trade with Cleveland Wednesday. He started at shortstop Saturday. Normally a catcher, Martin made his second start at third base in four days, while Josh Donaldson was the DH.
Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (1-1, 5.23) went 3-1 in four starts against Toronto last year.
Blue Jays: RHP Joe Biagini (0-1, 8.10) is expected to start in place of injured RHP Marcus Stroman (right shoulder). Biagini has made two spot starts for Toronto this season. He allowed six runs and 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings in the second game of a doubleheader at Cleveland on May 3.
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