DUNEDIN, Fla. — The Boston Red Sox had a good day on the mound.
Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello threw five scoreless innings Monday in an intrasquad game, five days after being struck on the pitching hand by a batted ball.
Knuckleballer Steven Wright went two hitless innings against Toronto in his first exhibition start after missing the final month last season due to a right shoulder strain.
And David Price is making progress in his recovery from a sore left elbow.
Porcello was hit on the thumb by Yoenis Cespedes’ fourth-inning grounder during his start Wednesday against a New York Mets’ split squad.
“Threw the ball very well,” Boston Manager John Farrell said of Porcello after the Red Sox lost 4-3 to the Blue Jays. “Got up to 75 pitches. No ill effects from the comebacker the other day against the Mets. A good day, a positive work day for Rick.”
In his outing at Boston’s complex in Fort Myers, Florida, Porcello struck out six. He was 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA last season.
Farrell said Price has been doing range-of-motion drills and throwing into a net in a batting cage on Saturday and Sunday. There is no date yet for when Price will get on a mound.
“Feels good again,” Farrell said. “Given the situation, he’s in a good place right now. The main thrust is still the rehabbing and strengthening, and getting his arm moving.”
Entering the second year of a $217 million, seven-year contract, Price reported elbow soreness the day after a two-inning, 38-pitch simulated game on Feb. 28. He met with doctors James Andrews and Neal ElAttrache on March 3, but they felt rest rather than surgery was the best approach.
“It’s been getting better every day,” Price told reporters Monday in Fort Myers, Florida. “Kind of surprised that it’s responded the way that it has. If you asked me a week ago, I’d have said I felt ‘OK.’ And I feel really good right now. Today’s the best it’s felt. I don’t feel anything in there right now.”
Price is likely to begin the regular season on the disabled list.
“I’ll go stir-crazy,” he said. “I’ve got too much energy kind of sitting there. I’m learning some good values on patience right now. It’s tough.”
Wright, a first-time AL All-Star last year, retired 6 of 7 Toronto hitters. His lone baserunner reached on an error.
“It felt good to finally get back out there in a game situation,” Wright said. “Definitely pleased with the outcome. A little more pleased with how I felt. Today was a huge step in the right direction.”
Carson Smith, coming back from Tommy John surgery, threw around 15 pitches during his first bullpen session. Reliever Tyler Thornburg, working on mechanics, will have a mound session Wednesday.
Kendrys Morales hit a solo home run in the fifth inning to give the Blue Jays a 4-2 lead and they held on to pick up the win.
J.A. Happ made the start for Toronto, allowing one run on three hits in four innings of work.
Rusney Castillo and Mitch Moreland hit solo home runs for Boston.