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Solid performance in simulated game puts David Price closer to returning to Red Sox

David Price has had inflammation stemming from a cyst on his hand.chris o’meara/AP/Associated Press

DENVER — David Price, who has been on the injured list since Aug. 5 because of a cyst in his left wrist, might be nearing a return, after throwing 54 pitches in a three-inning simulated game on Tuesday afternoon at Coors Field.

Facing teammates Marco Hernandez, Sandy Leon, Chris Owings, and Sam Travis, Price didn’t allow any hits and struck out two with two walks. He had not faced batters since his Aug. 4 start against the Yankees.

“Just getting up and down was a big thing,” Price said. “Throwing pitches and going back and sitting in the dugout, and going back out there and doing it again. Facing hitters, to me that was the biggest thing today. To get that view back was good.”


Manager Alex Cora and pitching coach Dana LeVangie were among the dozen or so staffers watching as Price pitched to bullpen catcher Mike Brenly. Price was tentatively scheduled to face the Padres this past Sunday, but the decision was made to push him back.

“He looked good,” Cora said. “He spun a few breaking balls, too, which is a great sign. Let’s see how he reacts tomorrow and we go from there.”

Price noted that had the team played an American League opponent — and not the Padres, against whom he would have had to bat — he felt he could have come off the injured list sooner, but Cora saw it differently.

“Not really, for me,” Cora said. “I just wanted to make sure he was where he was supposed to be.”

Price feels he’ll be ready for this weekend’s series against the Angels, as does Cora. Price is 7-5 with a 4.36 ERA in 105⅓ innings this season.

“[Someone] once told me while I was in Tampa, if you ever get hurt, don’t come back just to be back, come back to stay back,” said Price. “That’s what we’re trying to do.”


Benintendi out

Cora pulled Andrew Benintendi in the sixth inning of Saturday night’s game against the Padres because of tightness in his side. The Red Sox hoped to get him back in the lineup on Tuesday night, but he missed the series opener against the Rockies.

“He’s doing OK,” Cora said. “He’s probably going to hit tomorrow. He might come off the bench, if needed.”

Cora and the team’s main focus with Benintendi is this weekend. The schedule works in their favor for Benintendi to get ample rest. The team has an offday Thursday, and if it decides not to use Benintendi Wednesday, he would have five days of rest heading into Friday’s series opener against the Angels.

Good times

Cora remembers vividly the Red Sox’ World Series victory over the Rockies in 2007.

“What we did in ’07 was really special,” Cora said. “Me and Jason [Varitek] were talking about it today, that team was very close to putting a lot of runs on us. Game 3 and Game 4 they were a force. Besides winning the whole thing, the coolest thing was when [Troy Tulowitzki] was coming up to hit. That chant was amazing.”

Seeing stars

Single A Greenville infielder Triston Casas was named to the South Atlantic League All-Star team. The 19-year-old, who was a first-round pick in 2018, had an .818 OPS through 115 games with 18 home runs, 76 RBIs, and 25 doubles. He is second in the league with 47 extra-base hits. Triple A Pawtucket righthander Trevor Kelley was named to the International League All-Star team. The 25-year-old from Barrington, R.I., has a 1.90 ERA and leads the IL with 12 saves. Kelley appeared in one game for the Red Sox this season and gave up three runs against the Blue Jays on July 2 . . . The Rockies recalled outfielder Sam Hilliard from Triple A Albuquerque and purchased the contract of righthander Rico Garcia, who started Tuesday night’s game. Lefthander Phillip Diehl and righthander Joe Harvey were optioned, and righthander Chad Bettis was moved to the 60-day injured list . . . Red Sox top pitching prospect Thad Ward was hit with a line drive on his pitching elbow Tuesday afternoon while pitching for Salem. He was diagnosed with a contusion and X-rays were unnecessary.


Peter Abraham of the Globe staff contributed to this report.