FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Dustin Pedroia had two hits and three RBIs and David Price went five innings as the Boston Red Sox beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-3 on Friday night.
It wasn’t Price’s sharpest outing, but he felt good throughout.
“That’s the best I’ve felt in a couple weeks,” he said. “I was getting out in front of myself, not finishing my pitch off, being up in the zone. But body-wise felt really good.”
The Red Sox scored six runs, five earned, off Pirates right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, who went 4 1/3 innings. David Ortiz drove in the game’s first run, with a groundout in the first inning, during which the Red Sox sent six batters to the plate.
“He didn’t have his best stuff,” said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. “The ball was elevated more than it was down. In two-strike at-bats, he wasn’t able to put guys away. He just wasn’t sharp.”
Hanley Ramirez had two RBIs for Boston.
Josh Harrison had two hits and scored two runs for the Pirates and Tito Polo, who was added to the lineup when Andrew McCutchen was scratched, had two RBIs.
Vogelsong is competing for the fifth spot in the Pirates rotation. He gave up nine hits and two walks with no strikeouts, needing 85 pitches, 49 for strikes.
“Didn’t execute very well,” Vogelsong said. “Even when I was getting ahead of guys, I was missing pitches in the middle of the plate. I’m not going to let half a dozen bad pitches affect the good spring training I’m having. It’s not like I’ve got to reinvent the wheel here. I’ve got to be more conscious about what I’m doing on the mound and execute pitches.”
As for Price, the Red Sox ace gave up two runs, one earned, on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts. He threw 89 pitches, 48 for strikes.
“He was strong, up to 90 pitches tonight, which was the goal,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “Not as sharp as a couple of starts here of late, but I thought he threw a high number of backdoor cutters to some right-handers that is I think pretty much a signature pitch for him to get back in some counts. But still he made some big pitches when he had men in scoring position.”
Pirates: McCutchen had been scheduled to play but was scratched with tightness in his left quad. The Pirates said it was just precautionary and he worked out on Friday.
First baseman Michael Morse tweaked his right hamstring in Thursday’s game but said it was nothing serious.
Red Sox: Third baseman Pablo Sandoval has been sidelined since Thursday with low back stiffness. He was able to throw on Friday and said he felt better. He is scheduled to throw again on Saturday and may take some groundballs.
Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez has a knee injury and will not be ready for opening day. He is scheduled to throw a 40-pitch bullpen session on Saturday.
The Pirates have split-squad games on Saturday. Opening Day starter Francisco Liriano faces the Rays at 6:05 p.m. in Bradenton. Left-hander Kyle Lobstein, who is competing for a spot in the bullpen, will start against the Twins in Fort Myers at 1:05 p.m.
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 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.