Toronto — David Price returned to the Boston Red Sox with another outstanding performance against Toronto Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old left-hander did not allow any earned runs over five innings in a 12-2 rout Monday that improved his record against the Blue Jays to 22-3, including 13-1 in 18 starts at Toronto.
“I enjoy this mound,” he said. “It feels close to home plate, so it’s just one of the places I enjoy throwing.”
Price (2-2) had not pitched since May 2 due to left elbow tendinitis. He allowed three hits, struck out four and walked none.
Toronto scored twice in the second to tie the game after second baseman Michael Chavis allowed Billy McKinney’s two-hop grounder to bounce out of his glove for an error with one out. Richard Ureña grounded out and Luke Maile, who had been 0 for 7 against Price in his career, drove a fastball over the wall in left-center for his second homer this year.
Price then retired his final 10 batters.
“I felt better as the game went on,” he said. “The last couple innings were more efficient than the first two or three, so it was good.”
Manager Alex Cora removed Price, the former Tiger, after just 67 pitches.
“Hasn’t pitched in a while, so just take care of him,” Cora. “Pitch count was low. The effort was great. The last two innings velocity-wise, location-wise was fun to watch.”
Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree, Ryan Brasier and Hector Velázquez combining for hitless relief.
Chavis, Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers homered for Boston, which started a seven-day trip to Toronto and Houston. The World Series champions are 23-14 since a 2-8 start.
Bogaerts and Devers hit consecutive second-deck home runs in the ninth off Ryan Tepera, the third time the Red Sox have gone back-to-back this season. Bogaerts and Devers had three RBIs each.
Bogaerts hit a tiebreaking, two-run single in a four-run third that included Chavis’ ninth home run this season, a two-run drive. Bradley’s two-run homer in the sixth against Elvis Luciano boosted the lead to 8-2, Bradley’s first home run since Game 3 of the World Series and his first in the regular season since last Sept. 20.
“You see a bit of a glimpse of what we’re capable of,” Chavis said. “I wouldn’t even say we’re hot yet, but things are going the right way, for sure, and being part of those innings, it’s definitely something fun.”
In his second start with the Blue Jays, Edwin Jackson (0-1), another ex-Tiger, gave up six runs — five earned — and seven hits in five innings. Toronto is the record 14th big league team for the 35-year-old right-hander.
Just one Toronto batter reached after the second, Freddy Galvis with a leadoff walk in the seventh. Toronto is batting a major league-low .218, and the Blue Jays gave up a season-high 12 runs.
“The Red Sox are one of the best teams in baseball,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said. “Early on in the game, we didn’t make a couple of plays, and they took advantage. That’s what good teams do.”
Mets: Callaway safe, Cespedes hurt
Turns out Yoenis Céspedes took the fall, not Mickey Callaway.
On a hectic afternoon at Citi Field, the slumping New York Mets announced Monday they are sticking with their embattled manager “for the foreseeable future” — and Céspedes broke his right ankle in an accident on his ranch.
The oft-injured slugger has been sidelined most of the past two seasons and was home recovering from surgery on both heels. New York had hoped he could return sometime after the All-Star break, but this latest setback certainly puts Céspedes’ entire season — and perhaps his career — in jeopardy.
General manager Brodie Van Wagenen said the team was informed Saturday night that Céspedes, a former Tiger, got hurt on his ranch in Port St. Lucie, Fla,, where the club’s spring training complex is located.
“He had a violent fall in which he stepped in a hole and put his leg and foot in a difficult position,” said Van Wagenen, who was Céspedes agent before becoming GM of the Mets last offseason.
Gregorius on the mend
New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius played five innings of defense and went 2-for-4 with a walk Monday at extended spring training in Tampa, Fla., his first game action since Tommy John surgery on Oct. 17.
“It was good,” Gregorius said.
Playing against Tigers minor-leaguers and in front of Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner, Gregorius singled twice and cleanly fielded three grounders but had an error for an errant throw to first base.
Gregorius is coming back from surgery to a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He appears on track to soon start a minor league injury rehabilitation assignment with Class A Tampa and rejoin the Yankees in mid-to-late June.
Around the horn
Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber will have an X-ray on Thursday to evaluate his right arm, broke when hit by a line drive on May 1.
Kluber has had his arm in a cast since being injured. Cleveland manager Terry Francona said Monday the cast could be removed and replaced with a removable splint, depending on the results of the X-ray.
... The Atlanta Braves have added veteran help for their patchwork bullpen by acquiring right-hander Anthony Swarzak from Seattle for left-hander Jesse Biddle and right-hander Arodys Vizcaino.
... The San Francisco Giants called up left-hander Andrew Suarez to start Monday night’s game against the Atlanta Braves.
... Longtime Los Angeles Angels media relations director Tim Mead will take over from Jeff Idelson as president of baseball’s Hall of Fame on June 24.
... The Rangers said Monday that 2010 AL MVP Josh Hamilton and former Arlington Mayor Richard Greene will be inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame on August. 17.