David Price Struggles in Second Rehab Start, But PawSox Bats Beat Louisville at McCoy

PawSox news release…

PAWTUCKET, R.I. — With David Price on the mound, the Pawtucket Red Sox offense exploded for a season-high 18 hits and dug out of an early hole to defeat the Louisville Bats, 13-6, on Wednesday night at McCoy Stadium.

The PawSox (17-24), who trailed 4-0 after the top of the first and 6-3 in the middle of the second, used a four-run third inning and late insurance to level the three-game series with the Bats (16-29). Pawtucket’s 13 runs were its second-most this season (behind only the 14-run onslaught in the season opener). All nine starters recorded at least one hit and one run scored, while eight players notched multi-hit nights.

Red Sox starter David Price (left elbow strain) made his second rehab start and allowed six runs (three earned) on a walk and seven hits with four strikeouts in 3.2 innings. Price, who sat 93-95 MPH with his fastball and topped out at 96, used 89 pitches (61 for strikes) and retired seven of the final eight batters he faced.

“Price said he felt good after his outing,” Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles said. “Obviously burned through his pitch count. Command is not what he was looking for I think if you asked him that. But overall said he felt good. I thought the stuff actually was pretty good; it’s just the command and location, which is to be expected when he’s coming off an injury.”

Rehabbing Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval (right knee sprain), who played his scheduled seven innings in the field, went 2-for-4 with a pair of hard-hit doubles and a walk. The two-time All-Star is now 3-for-13 through four rehab games with Pawtucket.

“He played well, looked like he swung the bat well, impacted the ball, looked fine, comfortable running the bases, playing at third, made two plays,” Boles said. “He said he felt good also.”

PawSox righty Marcus Walden (W, 2-2) followed Price and tossed 2.1 scoreless frames with a pair of punchouts. Louisville starter Vin Mazzaro (L 0-1) ceded seven runs (six earned) on eight hits and a walk in 2.2 innings.

Louisville jumped on Price for four runs (two earned) in the top of the first. Center fielder Phil Ervin led off with a ground-rule double to left. After a bloop single, wild pitch, walk and an error led to a pair of runs, Louisville third baseman Brandon Dixon supplied a two-run double to the right-center gap, pushing the margin to 4-0. Price finished off the first with a strikeout.

The PawSox cut into the deficit in the home half of the first. Sandoval slapped an RBI double down the left-field line, and right fielder Brian Bogusevic tucked a two-run homer inside the left-field foul pole, making it 4-3.

Louisville, however, responded in the second. Price yielded a leadoff single, and designated hitter Tony Renda collected an RBI base knock. Following a stolen base and a passed ball, Renda scored on an RBI single from right fielder Jesse Winker, extending the Bats’ lead to 6-3.

Pawtucket trimmed the gap to 6-5 in the third when left fielder Bryce Brentz tagged a two-run blast to deep left. With two runners aboard, shortstop Ryan Court then ripped an RBI single to center. Ervin misplayed the ball, allowing a second run to score and Pawtucket to vault ahead to its first lead, 7-6.

The PawSox tacked on another run in the fourth when designated hitter Allen Craig rolled an RBI single up the middle to reel in Sandoval. With the bases loaded, catcher Dan Butler then made it 9-6 with a sacrifice fly to center.

With one out in the seventh, PawSox center fielder Steve Selsky launched a majestic solo shot to left, making it 10-6. Three batters later, first baseman Matt Dominguez scorched a run-scoring single into left. The PawSox then added to the lead, 13-6, with an RBI double from Brentz and an RBI single from Butler.

The PawSox conclude their three-game series against Louisville on Thursday at 11:05 a.m. at McCoy Stadium. PawSox right-hander Kyle Kendrick (1-3, 7.50) is scheduled to start opposite Bats lefty Ismael Guillon (0-0, 5.40).