Price pitches 2 innings in first rehab start

Left-hander exits after throwing just 65 pitches for PawSox

Price pitches 2 innings in first rehab start

BUFFALO -- Making his much-anticipated return to action on Friday since injuring his left elbow during Spring Training, Red Sox lefty David Price's first rehab start lasted just two innings due to an escalating pitch count.

Price saw his pitch count rise instantly, filling the count on 14 pitches to leadoff batter Jake Elmore, before his 15th was lined into the right-field gap for a double. The veteran then settled in and struck out the next three hitters, finishing the first frame with 31 pitches. In all, Price allowed three runs on five hits, throwing 41 of 65 pitches for strikes. The Red Sox were expecting Price to throw 85-90 pitches.

After the Red Sox's 3-2 loss in 10 innings to the A's in Oakland, manager John Farrell weighed in on Price's outing.

"Given the number of pitches, only two innings pitched. I will say this, the fact that he threw that many pitches in a short period of time and he feels good physically -- while the overall body of performance wasn't quite there -- the fact that he pushed it physically, that was a positive sign tonight," Farrell said.

The lanky lefty got off to a rough start again in the second inning as the first batter he faced, Raffy Lopez, took his 1-0 offering over the left-center-field wall for the first run of the game.

After a flyout, the Bisons followed up back-to-back singles with a walk to load the bases. Price then found himself locked into a full count with Elmore for the second time in as many innings, eventually losing the battle on a soft liner to right which plated a pair of runs.

The Vanderbilt product then induced a popout and ended the inning with his fourth strikeout.

"It's not the way I drew it up obviously, but to be able to go out there and throw 30-plus pitches in both of those innings and to still feel the way that I felt walking off the mound after the second inning is great," said Price. "Every pitch I threw, you know, I felt good. My entire body felt good -- not just my arm.

"It happens. It's not the way I envisioned today going, but I can still take the positive of throwing all those pitches in those two innings and still feeling good walking off the mound after the second."

Even with the shortened outing, the new father -- who welcomed his first child to the world on May 17 -- still beamed a bright smile while he met with media postgame.

"In my eyes this is still a good day," said Price. "I got to do what I love, I got to take my son home and now I'm going back to see him again."

Price's pitch speeds were unavailable Friday evening, as the radar gun at Coca-Cola Field wasn't functioning.

Pablo Sandoval went 0-for-3 over his three scheduled at-bats as the designated hitter in what was his first rehab appearance since spraining his right knee on April 24.

"It felt good," said Sandoval. "I thought it might be worse, but I had some good at-bats out there. I'm happy to be back playing again, and I hope to be back with Boston soon.

"Batting is not the problem. The test will be in the field when I have to move side to side on ground balls and have to move quickly on those. The challenge will come tomorrow."

According to Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles, if Sandoval's knee feels good in the morning, he could see time at third Saturday afternoon. The Venezuelan took reps at the hot corner during batting practice for about 10 minutes.

"Possibly play third base a bit tomorrow and the next day. Then we'll bump up the innings from there," said Boles.

Boles also provided some insight into Brock Holt's ongoing health issues. The utility man made his first start Friday evening since leaving Monday's contest in Scranton, Pa., with a recurrence of vertigo symptoms.

"His vision is still a little bit blurry," said Boles. "With him, it's going to be how he comes in each day. Sometimes he wakes up in the morning and he's not feeling too good, and other times he's feeling great. It just depends.

"We're getting in contact with him each morning when he gets up to see how he's feeling on that particular day. Then we just see what the workload should be from there."

Holt started in left field and went 1-for-4 with a walk, bringing his Triple-A average to .222 after 11 games.

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