Red Sox

First impressions from Red Sox' 14-7 win over Athletics

First impressions from Red Sox' 14-7 win over Athletics

First impressions from the Boston Red Sox' 14-7 win over the Oakland Athletics:

* This wasn't the step forward the Red Sox were hoping for from Clay Buchholz

Buchholz was coming off his strongest outing of the year five days ago in Chicago, and the Sox had reason to believe that that start might be a springboard for him. After all, in the past, Buchholz had often built on a good start and run off several in a row, riding a wave of confidence.

In reality, Buchholz was merely passable, allowing four runs in just five innings. He allowed a run in the first, two in the second and another in the third -- hardly the kind of momentum the Sox were expecting.

He might have been allowed to go another inning after just 87 pitches, but the Red Sox had long innings in both the fourth and fifth.

* Jackie Bradley Jr's offense may no longer be a surprise, but his error was shocking.

Bradley has long been an elite outfielder, with questions about his ability to hit enough at the big league level.

Of late, however, he's been on a tear at the plate, extending his hitting streak to 15 straight games. He had a three-hit night Monday, topped by a grand slam in the sixth.

But the unexpected happened in the top of the seventh when he had a routine fly ball hit the heel of his glove and pop out for an error, leading to an unearned run. It was his first error of the season.

* At ago 40, David Ortiz is averaging almost exactly an RBI per game played.

Ortiz, who homered twice Sunday night, continued to wield a hot bad with two doubles (in the same inning) and two hard-hit lineouts. He knocked in two runs Monday night, giving him 29 in 30 games.

That's a pace that not even Ortiz is likely to be able to maintain, but it's a remarkable start to the season nonetheless.

Again, for comparison's sake, Ortiz didn't reach 29 RBI last season until June 18.

* The homer binge continues.

The Sox added two more homers last night -- a three-run shot from Brock Holt and a slam from Bradley. That makes it 21 homers in the last 14 games, the most of any team in the American League. The Sox have now homered in 10 straight games.

And, of course, the doubles keep piling up, especially at home. They smacked six more Monday night, giving them 79, tops in the majors.

It's not yet mid-May and the Red Sox have three players in double figures in doubles -- Ortiz, Xander Bogaerts and Travis Shaw.

Strong Grapefruit League debut for Price

Strong Grapefruit League debut for Price

David Price's Grapefruit League debut was nearly perfect.

The Red Sox left-hander pitched four scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk and striking out five in a 7-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in Fort Myers, Fla.

Price threw 55 pitches, 34 for strikes. He cruised through the first on nine pitches. He allowed the single and walk in the second.  

"It feels good. This is March 15 and I've never been able to have a four-pitch mix on March 15," Price told reporters after his start. "I've never been this far along in spring training even though I've only thrown in one game. I'm excited about that."

The Red Sox open March 29 at Tampa Bay, with Chris Sale likely to start. Price will likely pitch the second game of the season, March 30 at Tropicana Field.