Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price threw just 73 pitches and five innings Tuesday night in Minneapolis. Associated Press/Stacy Bengs

MINNEAPOLIS — Boston Red Sox Manager Alex Cora pulled David Price after just 73 pitches on Tuesday night.

The lefty was cruising against the Twins at Target Field. He had tossed five innings, allowing just one run, four hits and no walks, striking out two. But reliever Mike Shawaryn took over for him to begin the sixth inning.

Price had struggled in his previous start against the Rangers last Thursday at Fenway Park. He recorded just four outs, allowed six runs and threw 49 pitches against Texas.

“He was short the other day,” Cora explained. “Today was one of those that we felt like I was going to take care of him. He threw the ball well but as you guys know, he’s a guy that we really have to take care of.”

The Red Sox ended up losing 4-3 in 17 innings.

Was a shorter start for Price on Tuesday preplanned?

“Kind of, yeah. We talk about it,” Cora said. “We’re going to take advantage of probably the next 10 days, 12 days with the off days and all that. With him coming off the IL and the short starts and all that stuff, we have to make sure he’s OK. And he’s OK, actually. But we felt that today was one of those that go short, all-out and move on.”

Price spent from May 6-20 on the injured list because of left elbow tendinitis. He recorded just two outs in a start May 25 at Houston because he was sick.

“I want to be able to give us more,” Price said. “That’s what every other starter has been able to do. And it was tough today.”

The lefty averaged 93.9 mph with his four-seam fastballs and 93.1 mph with his two-seam fastball, per Baseball Savant.

His four-seam fastball has averaged 92.1 mph this year and his two-seamer has averaged 91.9 mph.

“It was a collective decision,” Price said. “That wasn’t on Alex. That wasn’t on him.”

Price said he feels “all right.”

“Just going through the season. That’s part of it. And I expect to be back out there in five or six days.”

CORA HAD a heated argument with plate umpire Jeremie Rehak during the 17th inning after he thought the Twins’ Eddie Rosario stepped out of the batter’s box while making contact on a bunt attempt.

A batter is out for illegal action if “he hits the ball with one or both feet on the ground entirely out of the batter’s box,” per the MLB rulebook.

Both of Rosario’s feet were in the batter’s box when he fouled off a pitch from Boston’s Brian Johnson trying to bunt.

“I want to apologize to the umpires,” Cora said to begin his postgame media conference. “Obviously emotions take over. We look at the replay and Eddie wasn’t (out of) the batter’s box. They did an outstanding job for how long it was. Just one of those that it was tough to swallow. You see it and the emotions take over. That was out of character. So that was my fault.”

Rosario ended up doubling four pitches later to put two men in scoring position with one out.

THE SOX put right-hander Hector Velazquez on the 10-day injured list, a day after a recurrence of back trouble that sidelined him a few weeks ago.

Velazquez has a low back strain, and the Red Sox made the move before playing at Minnesota on Wednesday night. Righty Josh Smith was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.

Velazquez, 30, gave up one run in four innings during Tuesday night’s 4-3 loss in 17 innings to the Twins. It was his first game since being activated from the injured list Monday – he’d been out since May 30 with a low back strain.

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