Red Sox send Price to mound against Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif. — David Price will take the mound Saturday for the Boston Red Sox, coming off the best start of what has been a challenging season for the left-hander.

Not only did Price miss the first two months of the season because of an elbow strain, but a feud with the Boston media reached a boiling point after a bad performance against the New York Yankees last month.

Price proclaimed to Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessey that he was “done” with the Boston media.

“I’m not cautious,” he told Shaughnessy. “I’m the same me. I don’t talk to the media every day like I did last year and I guess I get blown up for that. But I was honest with everything they asked me last year and I get blown up for that.

“So they did this to themselves. Talk to me on the day I pitch and that’s it. There are no more personal interviews. There are no more asking me questions on a personal level. That’s done.”

Price had a good season in 2016 in the first of a seven-year, $217 million contract with the Red Sox, going 17-9. But he lost his only start in the playoffs, falling to 0-8 in postseason play.

The ensuing criticism, followed by the frustration of his injury, pushed Price too far.

Price, though, is 5-2 with a 3.39 ERA in 10 starts since being activated May 29, including his eight scoreless innings against the New York Yankees his last time out.

Price is 5-6 with a 3.24 ERA and one shutout in 14 career starts against the Angels. And he has done something few pitchers have done — shut down Mike Trout. Trout is just 3-for-19 with nine strikeouts against Price.

Right fielder Kole Calhoun, a left-handed hitter who occasionally gets a day off when the Angels face a tough lefty, has actually hit Price pretty well, going 5-for-16 with a home run.

JC Ramirez will start for Los Angeles, continuing his transition from reliever to starter. Ramirez is 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA in five career games against the Red Sox, but just one of those was a start.

That came June 24, when he held the Red Sox to one run and four hits in six innings of a 6-3 Angels win.

The Angels are Ramirez’s fifth big league organization, but the first one to give him a chance to start. Philadelphia, Arizona, Seattle and Cincinnati kept him in the bullpen as he bounced back and forth between the minors and majors.

Not surprisingly, Ramirez is grateful for the opportunity he’s getting with Los Angeles.

“The other teams, I’d get there (to the big leagues) for one month and then the guy who was injured would come back so I’d go down,” he told the Orange County Register. “I’d pitch four innings and give up one or two runs and get sent down. It’s hard to pitch like that, to survive.

“Maybe they should have given me the confidence. They said, ‘Someone is hurt so you come up.’ No, I earned coming up because I worked hard in the minors.”