Price right there as Red Sox clinch

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - SPORTS -

TEAM REC-Team’s Record in games started by to­day’s pitcher. VS OPP-Pitcher’s record ver­sus this op­po­nent 2017 sta­tis­tics. Wed­nes­day — Post­sea­son be­gins. Thurs­day — Di­vi­sion Se­ries start. Oct. 13 — League Cham­pi­onship Se­ries start. Oct. 24 — World Se­ries starts. Novem­ber TBA — Dead­line for teams to make qual­i­fy­ing of­fers to their el­i­gi­ble former play­ers who be­came free agents, fifth day after World Se­ries.

BOS­TON — The hard chop­per bounced off first base­man Mitch More­land’s glove and high into the air. Sec­ond base­man Brock Holt jumped to glove the ball and flipped it to first, where David Price was cov­er­ing.

When the Red Sox needed him, Price was there.

The former ace came out of the bullpen in re­lief of Drew Pomer­anz and squelched a sev­enth-in­ning rally Satur­day, help­ing the Red Sox clinch the first back-to-back AL East ti­tles in fran­chise his­tory with a 6-3 vic­tory over the Astros and avoid a tiebreaker against the Yan­kees.

“That was important — just get it done to­day,” Hanley Ramirez said.

The vic­tory set up an im­me­di­ate re­match with the AL West cham­pion Astros in the ALDS start­ing Thurs­day in Hous­ton.

“This is a good team across the way,” Astros man­ager A.J. Hinch said. “We’re both di­vi­sion cham­pi­ons. We’ll ob­vi­ously see a lot of each other over the next 10 days.”

Red Sox man­ager John Far­rell had said Price, who threw 24 pitches Fri­day night, was un­avail­able.

“He came in to­day and said, ‘Hey, if the sit­u­a­tion presents it­self, give me the ball,’ ” Far­rell said.

That sit­u­a­tion came in the sev­enth, with two in and two on, no­body out and the ty­ing run at the plate. Price got Brian Mc­Cann on the 3-4-1 putout thanks to a for­tu­itous bounce, struck out Cameron May­bin and walked Tyler White to load the bases. Price then struck out Ge­orge Springer on three pitches.

“We get a chance to get a cou­ple of days rest,” said Far­rell, who scratched Chris Sale from Sun­day’s start and said Hec­tor Ve­lazquez would pitch instead. “Chris is de­serv­ing of a cou­ple of ex­tra days to just get some rest.” 2017 — Bos­ton Red Sox 2016 — Bos­ton Red Sox 2015 — Toronto Blue Jays 2014 — Bal­ti­more Ori­oles 2013 — Bos­ton Red Sox 2012 — New York Yan­kees 2011 — New York Yan­kees 2010 — Tampa Bay Rays 2009 — New York Yan­kees HOUS­TON Springer cf Breg­man 3b Al­tuve 2b Cor­rea ss Gat­tis dh Gur­riel 1b Mc­Cann c May­bin rf Fisher lf a-White ph 1-Kemp pr-lf TO­TALS BOS­TON Bo­gaerts ss Ben­in­tendi lf Betts rf More­land 1b Ramirez dh Dev­ers 3b Marrero 3b Vazquez c Holt 2b Bradley Jr. cf TO­TALS 33 33 3 6 8 10 3 6 .283 .285 .347 .315 .263 .297 .241 .228 .218 .298 .219 .273 .271 .264 .246 .242 .284 .214 .291 .190 .246

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