BUFFALO, N.Y. — David Price knew better than to lobby for a chance to go out for a third inning after struggling through the first two in his first minor league rehab start Friday night.

“I’ve got to do as I’m told,” said Price, who hopes to return to the Boston Red Sox rotation. “If I don’t like it, pitch better.”

Though saying he felt no soreness in the strained left pitching elbow that has sidelined him since late February, Price didn’t appear entirely right during a brief stint with Triple-A Pawtucket at Buffalo.

Price, the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner, was yanked after a three-run second inning, when he gave up four hits, including a leadoff homer. Overall, he allowed five hits, struck out four and gave up a walk in a 65-pitch performance, about 25 short of what the Red Sox expected.

“It’s not the way I drew it up, obviously,” Price said. “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, that’s good.”

Price, 31, insisted he still feels on track to rejoin the Red Sox next week.

“I feel great right now,” Price said. “I definitely want to get back out there and I’ll leave that decision to management.”

Red Sox Manager John Farrell had time to watch Price’s first inning before Boston’s game at Oakland.

“There was plenty of swing and miss. It looked like there was plenty of power,” Farrell said. “He’s got a night of work ahead of him.”

Price threw 41 strikes and 24 balls. It’s unclear how fast his pitches were because of technical difficulties with a radar gun.

Calling it “a work in progress,” Price acknowledged he wasn’t entirely in command.

Price dismissed a question of what some might make of his numbers.

“I’m not worried about the observers and their opinions,” he said. “That doesn’t mean anything to me.”

It was a short night for Price’s long-awaited debut and after his first scheduled start at Pawtucket was rained out Sunday. He instead threw 75 pitches in a simulated game.

The trouble Friday began in the second inning when leadoff hitter Raffy Lopez hit a 2-0 pitch over the 371-foot mark in left-center field. With the bases loaded and one out, Price gave up two runs on Jake Elmore’s bloop single into right field.

Elmore tested Price leading off the game. He fouled off 12 pitches before lining a 3-2 pitch into right-center for a double. Price bore down to strike out the next three batters on 15 pitches.

Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval also made his rehab assignment debut, going 0 for 3 as a DH. Out since April 24 because of a sprained right knee, Sandoval popped to second, lined to left, then grounded out to third.

Pawtucket Manager Kevin Boles said Sandoval could see time at third base Saturday depending on how his knee feels.

“I felt good. My knee doesn’t bother me,” Sandoval said after getting in some batting and infield practice before the game. “Missing a month, I just want to get better as soon as possible. I want to help my team.”

Sandoval missed all but three games last year because of a torn left labrum.