The Red Sox played 17 innings against the Twins before losing 4-3 on Tuesday, but starter David Price only threw 73 pitches.
Price pitched the first five innings of the game, giving up one run and four hits to the Twins while striking out two batters. Eight relief pitchers were used after Price was pulled from the game without any apparent injury.
Alex Cora told reporters after the game that he felt he needed to “take care of [Price],” despite the pitcher performing well by Cora’s own estimates.
“Kind of, yeah,” Cora said when asked whether the early hook was planned before the game. “We talked about it. We’re going to take advantage of probably the next 10 day, 12 days with the off days with him. … We have to make sure he’s OK and he’s OK, actually. It’s just one of those that we felt that today was one of those, go short, all out and move on.”
The Red Sox have four off-days in the next two weeks, one on Thursday as the team travels to Toronto for a weekend series against the Blue Jays, and two more next week ahead of the two-game series in London against the Yankees.
“It was a collective decision,” Price said. “That wasn’t on Alex. It wasn’t on him. I’m feeling all right … It’s going through the season. That’s part of it.”