Getting a tip from second baseman Dustin Pedroia concerning the pitcher's leg kick in relation to his hands, Price, who had allowed at least six earned runs in three of his last four starts overall, was strong Thursday -- and the Boston bats again erupted in an 11-1 rout of the Houston Astros.
"Coming into a season, I want to stay healthy and I want to be stay consistent -- and I haven't been consistent yet," the Red Sox's $217 million free agent said after striking out 12 over 6 2/3 innings in the club's fifth straight win.
"Today was a good day, but in five days I want to go out there and build on it."
Price (5-1) came into this season 6-1 with a 1.95 ERA in 11 career starts as a Fenway visitor. He had one good outing at the old place this season but lugged an 8.34 home ERA to the mound on Thursday. He left to a standing ovation, after lowering his ERA from 6.75 to 6.00 and raising the velocity of his fastball as high as 96 mph.
"That's him," said Mookie Betts, whose three-run homer finished off Houston ace Dallas Keuchel's eight-run night. "I don't know with the mechanical thing, that's over my head, but he was able to command all his pitches and got a lot of strikeouts."
And he sat in a pitcher's rocking chair as this offense again went crazy.
Xander Bogaerts hit a two-run homer off Keuchel (2-5) in the first inning and added an RBI single in the eight, Jackie Bradley Jr. delivered an RBI single in the second inning to extend his hitting streak to 18 games -- the longest active streak in the major leagues -- and Hanley Ramirez had three of Boston's 14 hits and also walked. David Ortiz had a sacrifice fly and a double.
The Red Sox have 56 runs on 69 hits during their winning streak, including 51 runs on 62 hits in four home games this week. They have reached double figures in runs in each of the four games, the first time since 2007 that has happened for Boston. The Red Sox have homered in 13 straight games.
"They just never stop," said Houston manager A.J. Hinch, whose team, which won the American League West last season, dropped to 14-22 and is in a fight to stay out of the division basement. "Their offense is clicking right now, specifically, and when Dallas kind of gave them any pitch to hit ... we couldn't stop them from scoring most innings."
Keuchel, 27-14 at home but 16-26 on the road in his career, lost his fourth straight and hasn't won since April 15. He has yielded at least five earned runs in four of his last five starts, three of them on the road, where he is 1-4 with a 7.04 ERA.
"He got burned a couple times on two off-speed pitches," said Hinch. "They ended up with five runs out of it with the two big home runs. Actually I thought the ball was coming out of his hand probably the best it has. I think he felt the best he's felt, the velocity's starting to creep back up."
Said Keuchel, the 2015 Cy Young Award winner (Price was second): "They're extremely hot, but I felt really good ... five runs on two swings -- that'll do you in, especially with a pretty good pitcher over there. I know he's been scuffling, but he figured it out tonight."
NOTES: The Astros sent RHP Josh Fields, who relieved Thursday night, and C Max Stassi to Triple-A Fresno after the game. That makes room for RHP Lance McCullers (shoulder) and C Jason Castro (paternity leave) to return Friday, McCullers making his 2016 debut in the second game of the series. ... Former Red Sox P Roger Clemens was at Fenway Friday taking part in a Jimmy Fund event that saw him throw batting practice to auction winners. ... Astros RF George Springer, a Connecticut native and a UConn teammate of Boston RHP Matt Barnes, finally made his Fenway Park debut Thursday after an injury kept him out of the lineup in Boston in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. He went 2-for-4. ... RHP Steven Wright, who starts for the Red Sox on Friday night, has gone at least five innings, allowing two runs and six hits or less in each of his last nine starts dating back to last season. That is the longest such streak by a Sox pitcher in the last 100 years. ... Former Red Sox 1B Kevin Millar announced David Ortiz's at-bat to the crowd in the fourth inning.