BUFFALO — The numbers didn’t look great, but in rehabbing Red Sox ace David Price’s eyes, it was still a step forward.
“Every pitch I threw I felt good,” Price said. “My entire body felt good. Not just my arm. It happens. It’s not the way I envisioned today going, but I’ve got to take the positive of throwing all those pitches in those two innings and still feeling good walking off the mound.”
Price, who has been on the disabled list with left elbow soreness all season, was lifted after two innings in his first rehab start for Triple A Pawtucket, who played the Buffalo Bisons Friday night.
It was the first time in 11 weeks he saw true game action.
“It felt really good getting out there and competing,” Price said. “It’s not the way I drew it up, obviously, but to be able to go out there and throw 30-plus pitches in both of those innings and still feel the way I felt after walking off the mound in that second inning is good.”
Scheduled to throw 90 pitches, Price only made it to 65, 41 for strikes.
He struck out four and allowed three earned runs on five hits and one walk.
Price was shut down Feb. 28 after he developed soreness in his left elbow during spring training.
Price was immediately tested Friday when Bison leadoff hitter Jake Elmore worked a 15-pitch at-bat, ending it with a double.
“I never had that, I don’t think, at any level in my entire life,” Price said. “I never had a 15-pitch at-bat. That was a really good at-bat.”
Price went on to strike out the next three batters he faced, throwing 23 of 31 pitches for strikes in the first inning.
Raffy Lopez lead off the second inning with a solo home run that cleared the wall in left-center.
Elmore would return to haunt Price, stroking a bases-loaded single that drove in two more runs.
Price said he understood that the decision to remove him from the game came from the big club, and he was at peace with it. While he knows observers will look at this as a poor outing, Price said he wasn’t concerned about negative buzz emerging.
“I’m not worried about the observers and their opinions,” Price said.
“It doesn’t mean anything.”
Price was scheduled to begin his rehab stint with the PawSox last Sunday, but the game was postponed because of rain. Price instead threw 75 pitches in a controlled situation.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said Price potentially could rejoin the team after one minor league start.
Price, however, was still all smiles because of the birth of his son Xavier, who was born Wednesday.
“It was a special moment,” said Price.
“In my eyes this was still a good day,’’ he said. “I got to do what I love. I got to take my son home. Now I’m going back home to see him again.”
Pablo Sandoval (knee) also began a rehab assignment with the PawSox. Sandoval went 0 for 3 as the DH, hitting cleanup. He also played third base, alternating with Brock Holt, during fielding practice.
“I felt good,’’ Sandoval said. “My knee doesn’t bother me. That’s one of the things that I’m looking for.”
“I’m just focusing on one thing — being healthy. At this time, my knee feels good.”
Sandoval is expected to play third base Saturday and possibly Sunday, depending how his knee holds up.
Holt, who has been on the DL because of vertigo, started in left field.