NEW YORK (AP) — David Price was perfectly cordial to the media Thursday night. There weren’t many positive things to say about his pitching, though.
Gary Sanchez homered twice to drive in five runs and the New York Yankees pounded Price again in a 9-1 victory , one night after the Boston Red Sox ace had an angry exchange with a reporter.
“It was not tough at all to focus here,” Price said, speaking softly in the middle of the clubhouse. “This is baseball. Stuff happens. It happens to the best of the best. It happened to me tonight.”
Michael Pineda (7-3) rebounded from a rough outing with seven brilliant innings, and New York took two of three from its biggest rival in their first series at Yankee Stadium this year. On the strength of stingy performances by CC Sabathia and Pineda, the Bronx Bombers outscored Boston 17-1 in the final two matchups even though the Red Sox started a pair of Cy Young Award winners.
New York holds a three-game lead in the AL East over Boston.
Making his third appearance this season since recovering from a strained left elbow, Price (1-1) was tagged for six runs and eight hits in five innings. He served up both of Sanchez’s homers, a three-run shot in the third and a two-run drive in the fifth.
“I’ll be ready in five days,” Price said.
Minutes after Wednesday night’s game, Price got into a heated argument with a Red Sox beat writer just outside the team’s clubhouse. According to reports, Price cursed at the reporter and then two others when they asked to interview him.
“I can’t say he was not disrespectful,” Boston manager John Farrell said Thursday.
Farrell said he didn’t think the altercation would affect Price on the mound. The manager said Price would be spoken to and the situation would be “handled” at another time because he didn’t want to distract the left-hander on a day he was pitching.
“Obviously, it was an emotional conversation,” Farrell said before the game. “There will be follow-up, yeah.”
Whatever the reason, Price wasn’t sharp in a ballpark that’s been nothing but trouble for him lately.
Coming off an excellent outing in Baltimore, he walked four and threw back his head in disgust after giving up Sanchez’s three-run homer. Price dropped to 14-11 with a 4.70 ERA versus New York, which is batting .369 against him over the past two seasons. He has a 3.01 career ERA against all other teams.
Since signing a $217 million, seven-year contract with the Red Sox as a free agent, Price is 1-4 with an 8.31 ERA in six starts against New York. He’s lost all four outings at Yankee Stadium during that stretch.
Price has made 36 career starts against the Yankees, 11 more than versus any other team. He said a blister that cropped up in the fifth didn’t affect him at all.
“I threw the ball extremely well against those guys two years ago,” he said. “This is a tough lineup to pitch against, and I look forward to the next time I can do it.”
Sanchez, dropped from second to sixth in the lineup Wednesday, has four homers and nine RBIs in seven at-bats against Price. Two of the slugger’s five career multihomer games have come this month.
“I think he’s starting to feel it a little bit now,” teammate Aaron Judge said. “It’s exciting. Every time that guy comes up to the plate, he’s due to do some damage.”
Brett Gardner hit his 13th homer — all in 35 games since April 29 — and an RBI single for New York. Judge had three hits and a walk, scoring twice.
Pineda yielded four hits and struck out eight . He did not permit an earned run after getting knocked around last Friday in a loss at Toronto that ended a long string of solid starts.
“I think we’ve seen a lot of growth in Michael this year, and we need to continue to see it,” manager Joe Girardi said.
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