Price, Sox return frustrated from long trip

Lefty's erratic command, defense's miscues prove costly

Price, Sox return frustrated from long trip

LOS ANGELES -- In the clubhouse after the Red Sox's 8-5 loss to the Dodgers on Sunday, you could almost hear a pin drop. No music was playing and barely anyone was talking.

The loss marked the end of an 11-game road trip in which the team finished 5-6 and fell three games behind the Orioles in the American League East.

"We'd like to have played better, but it is what it is," Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. "We are just trying to grind every day and find a way to win. Today we didn't do that."

It wasn't how anyone envisioned the trip going, especially Sunday's starter David Price. The left-hander, who bookended the road trip, began with a flash of brilliance against the Angels, allowing seven hits in eight innings on July 28.

He followed that up with another no-decision against the Mariners, before Sunday's start got away. After rolling through three innings, Price (9-8) faced 15 batters over the next two innings, ultimately finishing the day allowing six runs on six hits in five innings. 

He wasn't helped by the defense in those two frames. An error by third baseman Brock Holt in the fourth and another by shortstop Xander Bogaerts in the fifth helped the Dodgers score three unearned runs.

"I thought he had really good stuff and cruised through the first three," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "Any time you give a team an extra out and in back-to-back innings, it is going to come back to haunt, and today it did."

An even bigger deal for Price was his lack of command, allowing a season-high five walks.

"That's the worst I've commanded the baseball in a long time," Price said. "I made some good ones and then didn't make some good ones. They waited me out and had some good takes."

Although Price began the season going 7-2 in 12 starts, the past two months have been brutal for the left-hander. He's gone 2-6 in 12 starts since June 8 and the team lost all three of his starts this road trip.

"I always expect to win. That's part of it. The first 10 starts of the year I was terrible and still won a lot of games," Price said. "Then I start throwing the ball better and things weren't happening. I'm going to continue to work and do everything I can to get good results."

The Red Sox will land in Boston early Monday morning ready to begin a six-game homestand on Tuesday against the Yankees and D-backs.

"I'm not worried about myself personally, but we know we are a better team then the way we have played as of late," Price said. "It's always good to finish up road trips like this and head home. We haven't been home in a while."

Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Red Sox on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.