Price pitches 5-plus as Red Sox top Pirates

Price pitches 5-plus as Red Sox top Pirates

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It wasn't the sharpest of outings for either starter. Red Sox ace David Price went five innings, plus one batter in the sixth, giving up two runs on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts. He needed 89 pitches, 48 for strikes, to get through his outing as he struggled with command, but the Red Sox prevailed over the Pirates, 6-3, Friday night at JetBlue Park.

"It was all of them," Price said. "It wasn't just one [pitch]. Even when I got ahead, I let them right back in the count. Not throwing enough strikes, and that's definitely something I take a lot of pride in doing, pounding that zone, getting our offense back in that dugout so they can score runs. Didn't do a good job of that today. It's going to get there."

But his offense scored enough to get the win over the Pirates.

Pirates right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, used 85 pitches, 49 for strikes, in 4 1/3 innings. He gave up six runs, five earned, on nine hits and two walks with no strikeouts.

"I just didn't execute very well," Vogelsong said. "Even when I was getting ahead of guys, I was missing pitches, leaving balls over the plate. I just didn't execute enough."

The Red Sox scored a pair of runs in each of the first, third and fourth innings. They opened the scoring when David Ortiz grounded out, scoring Brock Holt, who had walked, taken second on Xander Bogaerts' single and stolen third base.

Dustin Pedroia went 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Hanley Ramirez had two RBIs and Ortiz drove in another for the Red Sox.

The Pirates scored in the fourth when Josh Harrison and Tito Polo each doubled. They added to that in the sixth when Jason Rogers led off with a walk, ending Price's outing. With Noe Ramirez pitching, Harrison reached on Deven Marrero's error. Rogers scored on Gregory Polanco's groundout, and Harrison came in on Polo's groundout.

Up next for the Pirates: The Pirates will play a split-squad doubleheader Saturday. Most of the starting lineup is expected to take the field behind Opening Day starter Francisco Liriano against the Rays at 6:05 p.m. ET at McKechnie Field. Another squad will head back to Fort Myers to play the Twins at 1:05 p.m. ET at Hammond Stadium. Left-hander Kyle Lobstein, competing for a spot in the bullpen, will make the afternoon start. Left-handers Cory Luebke and Jim Fuller and right-hander Rob Scahill, also aiming for a bullpen job, are scheduled to pitch in relief. Both games are on MLB.TV.

Up next for the Red Sox: Right-hander Clay Buchholz had been scheduled to start Saturday in Sarasota against the Orioles. Instead, he will pitch in a Minor League game at the Red Sox's complex in Fort Myers, avoiding a divisional opponent the Sox will host in the home opener. The Red Sox have several pitchers scheduled for Saturday, but the starter is still listed as TBA. The game is on MLB.TV.

Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.