GOODYEAR, Ariz. — David Price felt a rush of nervous energy leading up to Monday. Acquired by the Dodgers last month from from Boston, he made his first spring training appearance for Los Angeles.
Price allowed two runs and three hits in 1 1/3 innings during a 6-2 loss to Cincinnati with three strikeouts and two walks.
“It’s been a while since I faced hitters wearing a different jersey,” the 34-year-old left-hander said. “It’s the first time I’ve been in a game in six, almost seven months. My legs were shaking out there. It’s just, if you love what you do you’re definitely going to have nerves. It was fun. I definitely enjoyed it, getting back out there.”
A left wrist problem that required surgery to remove a cyst limited Price to 4 2/3 innings last August and September. He finished 7-5 with a 4.28 ERA in 22 starts, then was traded by the retooling Red Sox with outfielder Mookie Betts for prospects.
Price gave up a two-run single in the first to Jesse Winker. He reached 91 mph with his fastball and said he was happy about how he pitched.
“Wasn’t missing in the middle of the plate,” Price said after throwing 20 balls and 20 strikes. “When I did miss, it was a very small miss. Everything is getting there.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said despite the location issues, Price’s fastball was coming out of his hand well.
The wrist surgery restored the feeling of warm blood flow to Price’s left hand. He admitted he’s been dealing with a lack of feeling in his fingers since his time in Tampa Bay, Detroit, Toronto and Boston.
“I needed to get it fixed,” Price said. “It’s new for my hand to be warm.”
The 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner for Tampa Bay, Price joins a rotation headed by Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler,
“It’s OK. This is a business, first and foremost,” Price said. “I learned that probably when I was traded from Tampa. I was naive at the time, I thought I was going to be a Ray for life. … Teams are going in different routes now than what they used to. Some of it I understand and some of it I don’t.
“There’s no hard feelings on my part,” Price added. “I don’t need any extra motivation. Any day I get to put on this uniform or any other uniform, that’s motivation enough for me.”
Notes: OF Cody Bellinger was scratched from the lineup with side discomfort. The Dodgers have Tuesday off, and Roberts suggested he’s in no rush to get Bellinger back in action for a night game Wednesday. … LHP Julio Urías, also expected to make the starting rotation, allowed two runs — unearned — over two-thirds of an inning in his first spring training appearance.
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