During his brief time with Toronto last season, David Price played a major role in helping the Blue Jays secure their first playoff berth in more than two decades.
Now in Boston, the left-hander looks to continue his success against the visiting Blue Jays on Saturday in his first meeting since joining the Red Sox.
Price (1-0, 5.73 ERA) didn't get the chance to face his former club last weekend when Boston (5-4) took two of three at Toronto, but can help his new team build on Friday's 5-3 series-opening win.
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Traded to the Blue Jays (5-6) from Detroit at the deadline, Price went 9-1 with a 2.30 ERA in 11 regular-season starts to lead Toronto to its first division title since 1993. He wasn't nearly as effective while going 1-2 with a 6.17 ERA in four appearances and three starts in the postseason.
The Blue Jays were never really a serious player in re-signing Price before he agreed to a $217 million, seven-year deal with Boston in December.
"We have all of the resources necessary to build a championship team, but they're not unlimited," Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro told MLB's official website at the time. "It really wasn't much of a choice."
Price gave up two runs and struck out 10 in six innings of a 6-2 win at Cleveland in his Red Sox debut. He then yielded five in the third inning of the five he lasted in Monday's 9-7 home loss to Baltimore.
"That has been my Achilles' heel. That one bad inning," Price said. "That's all it takes in this game."
Though Price has thrown 207 pitches in two starts, he isn't worried.
"I'm not concerned. It's all about execution," he said. "I take pride being able to pitch deep into games. I haven't done that in these first two starts, but I look forward to it (Saturday)."
Price is 16-2 with a 2.41 ERA in 21 starts against the Blue Jays, including 7-0 in his last nine. The most recent came July 4 when he allowed a solo homer over seven innings in an 8-3 victory at Comerica Park.
"I'm looking forward to it," he said of facing Toronto. "It's a tough team to pitch against. ...To be able to go out (Saturday) and be able to throw the way I know I can, that'll be a good step in the right direction."
Edwin Encarnacion, 1 for 6 against Price since 2014, hit his first two homers of the season and had all three hits and RBIs for Toronto on Friday.
Boston's Travis Shaw drove in two and catcher Christian Vazquez had two hits in his return from missing all last season with an elbow injury.
Looking for a third straight win, the Red Sox hope to fare better than they did Sunday against Marco Estrada, who allowed five hits and fanned eight in seven innings of Toronto's 3-0 victory. The right-hander's 2016 debut was delayed because of a back issue that forced him to open on the disabled list.
''I feel pretty good,'' Estrada said. ''Still a little off. Things are going to get better. Just not quite 100 percent with the feel for things but it's really close.''
David Ortiz went 0 for 3 against Estrada last weekend, and is 3 for 12 with a two home runs lifetime in those matchups.
Jose Bautista is hitting .327 with five homers against Price, Troy Tulowitzki is 4 for 6 with a home run and Josh Donaldson 2 for 9.