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TORONTO (AP) — David Price returned to the Boston Red Sox with another outstanding performance against Toronto Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old left-hander did not allow any earned runs over five innings in a 12-2 rout Monday that improved his record against the Blue Jays to 22-3, including 13-1 in 18 starts at Toronto.
"I enjoy this mound," he said. "It feels close to home plate, so it's just one of the places I enjoy throwing."
Price (2-2) had not pitched since May 2 due to left elbow tendinitis. He allowed three hits, struck out four and walked none.
Toronto scored twice in the second to tie the game after second baseman Michael Chavis allowed Billy McKinney's two-hop grounder to bounce out of his glove for an error with one out. Richard Ureña grounded out and Luke Maile, who had been 0 for 7 against Price in his career, drove a fastball over the wall in left-center for his second homer this year.
Price then retired his final 10 batters.
"I felt better as the game went on," he said. "The last couple innings were more efficient than the first two or three, so it was good."
Manager Alex Cora removed Price after just 67 pitches.
"Hasn't pitched in a while, so just take care of him," Cora. "Pitch count was low. The effort was great. The last two innings velocity-wise, location-wise was fun to watch."
Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree, Ryan Brasier and Hector Velázquez combining for hitless relief.
Chavis, Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers homered for Boston, which started a seven-day trip to Toronto and Houston. The World Series champions are 23-14 since a 2-8 start.
Bogaerts and Devers hit consecutive second-deck home runs in the ninth off Ryan Tepera, the third time the Red Sox have gone back-to-back this season. Bogaerts and Devers had three RBIs each.
Bogaerts hit a tiebreaking, two-run single in a four-run third that included Chavis' ninth home run this season, a two-run drive. Bradley's two-run homer in the sixth against Elvis Luciano boosted the lead to 8-2, Bradley's first home run since Game 3 of the World Series and his first in the regular season since last Sept. 20.
"You see a bit of a glimpse of what we're capable of," Chavis said. "I wouldn't even say we're hot yet, but things are going the right way, for sure, and being part of those innings, it's definitely something fun."
In his second start with the Blue Jays, Edwin Jackson (0-1) gave up six runs — five earned — and seven hits in five innings. Toronto is the record 14th big league team for the 35-year-old right-hander.
Just one Toronto batter reached after the second, Freddy Galvis with a leadoff walk in the seventh. Toronto is batting a major league-low .218, and the Blue Jays gave up a season-high 12 runs.
"The Red Sox are one of the best teams in baseball," Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said. "Early on in the game, we didn't make a couple of plays, and they took advantage. That's what good teams do."
Toronto forward Jozy Altidore threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Altidore, announced Monday to the United States' 40-man preliminary Gold Cup roster, has not played for the Americans since the October 2017 loss at Trinidad and Tobago that ended a streak of seven straight World Cup appearances for the U.S.
Maile has hit four of his 10 career home runs against the Red Sox.
While many of the 26,794 on hand were disappointed that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was not in the starting lineup owing to a scheduled day off, the rookie appreciates the time off, having missed most of spring training with an oblique injury. "We're just being careful," he said.
Red Sox: C Óscar Hernández and RHP Josh Smith were optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket after Sunday's win over Houston. C Sandy León was activated from paternity leave and Price from the 10-day IL.
Blue Jays: 2B Eric Sogard (sprained left thumb) was a late scratch from the starting. Ureña moved to second and McKinney replaced Ureña in left field. . Manager Charlie Montoyo said RHP Ken Giles (wrist) was not available. .... After a rehab start for Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday, LHP Clayton Richard (knee) is likely to make his season debut on Thursday.
LHP Eduardo Rodríguez (4-2, 4.89), who takes the mound on Tuesday for the Red Sox, is 4-0 with a 3.46 ERA in his last seven starts, and hasn't given up a home run in a career-best five straight starts. Toronto RHP Marcus Stroman (1-6, 2.95) is 4-3 with a 3.87 ERA in 12 starts against Boston.
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