Price pays for lack of execution in tough 3rd

Lefty gives up 5 runs during inning in first home start since joining Red Sox

Price pays for lack of execution in tough 3rd

BOSTON -- Exactly 129 days after the Red Sox signed David Price to a seven-year, $217 million contract, the left-hander made his Fenway Park debut on Monday against the Orioles in front of a sold-out crowd for the team's home opener.

Price cruised through the first two innings, retiring six of the first seven batters, three via strikeout. Then in the blink of an eye, the ace was left wondering what went wrong in a five-run third inning on the way to a 9-7 loss for the Red Sox.

"It was execution in that third inning. That has been my Achilles' heel. That one bad inning," Price said. "That's all it takes in this game. One bad pitch. Today it was just that one inning."

Things started to unravel when Price surrendered a two-run single to Chris Davis with the bases loaded after walking Joey Rickard and hitting Manny Machado. Just three pitches later, Mark Trumbo deposited a three-run home run over the Red Sox's bullpen.

Price said the one pitch he wanted back was the 1-2 changeup to Davis.

"I've faced David so many times. He's obviously always been a good pitcher, but he's really come into his own these last couple of years and started to mix it up and pitch a little bit more," Davis said. "In that at-bat, I was just looking for a ball up with two strikes. I hit it about a half-inch above my thumb, so I'm glad the bat stayed together."

The only other time Price has allowed five or more earned runs at Fenway came in Game 2 of the 2013 American League Division Series as a member of the Rays, in which he gave up seven runs.

Price not only lacked command, but efficiency. In five innings, he threw a total of 103 pitches, 30 of which came in the third frame. In total, he allowed five runs on five hits while striking out eight. He also walked two, threw two wild pitches and hit one batter.

Efficiency was an issue for Price in his season debut against the Indians. He got the win but threw 103 pitches in six innings.

"I'm not concerned. It's all about execution. I take pride being able to pitch deep into games," Price said. "I haven't done that in these first two starts, but I look forward to it in five days."

It wasn't how Price wanted to start his tenure in front of the Fenway faithful, but the left-hander knows he has plenty of time to redeem himself.

"I enjoyed having the fans behind me. Even after I gave up that five-spot, they were still behind me," Price said. "It was huge. It didn't go the way I wanted it to, but that's part of it. I'll be out there again in five days."

Quinn Roberts is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.