Reasons for hope and concern for the Red Sox.
Price lasted five innings in his season debut in Boston's 5-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Monday, but the left-hander's encouraging outing took a back seat to another injury for a key teammate.
Pedroia bounced to first in the first inning and Jose Abreu slid into the bag for the out. Pedroia went right over the top of the big first baseman while trying to beat out the grounder for a hit, putting his hands on the ground to brace for the fall .
The Red Sox then pulled Pedroia in the second with a sprained wrist, and manager John Farrell said the 2008 AL MVP was headed back to Boston for tests.
"It's hard to say right now, and I think until we get the information, we'll know more then," Farrell said. "But I think anytime you're dealing with a position player's wrist, a hitter's wrist, that's always cause for concern."
Melky Cabrera homered and drove in four runs for the White Sox, who rallied for their fourth win in five games. Juan Minaya (1-0) and Tommy Kahnle each pitched a scoreless inning before David Robertson got three outs for his eighth save in nine chances.
Boston almost got a tying homer in the eighth, but Mitch Moreland's drive hooked foul in right.
"Things are going well for us right now," Cabrera said.
Price, who missed the first part of the year with a strained left elbow, walked two, hit two batters and surrendered Cabrera's three-run homer in the third. But the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner had some nice moments as well, allowing just two hits and striking out four while throwing 88 pitches, 58 for strikes.
"It's definitely a step in the right direction," said Price, in the second season of a $217 million, seven-year contact. "I felt good. Just command the baseball a little bit better with my fastball and I think things will take off for me."
Price was in line for the win before Kevan Smith hit an RBI double off Matt Barnes (3-2) in the seventh, tying it at 4. With two outs and Smith still on second, Cabrera hit a soft liner up the middle that landed in between shortstop Xander Bogaerts and second baseman Josh Rutledge.
Third base coach Nick Capra motioned for Smith to head for home. Rutledge's throw beat him to the plate, but it skipped away from catcher Christian Vazquez.
"Nicky saw what was going on," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He knew it was going to be a bang-bang play to put is in a position where he was moving, had to be a perfect throw, actually. There was a lot of moving parts over on that side."
Mookie Betts homered for Boston, which has dropped two in a row after a six-game win streak. Bogaerts had a sacrifice fly and a slick stop that started an inning-ending double play in the fifth.
Next up is a fun little Tuesday night when Chris Sale faces his former team for the first time since he was traded to Boston over the winter. Jose Quintana pitches for Chicago in a matchup of All-Star left-handers.
The White Sox saluted Sale with a highlight video during the first inning of the series opener, and the pitcher waved to the cheering crowd.
Red Sox: Pablo Sandoval (sprained right knee) remains on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket, and Farrell said they will take a look "where things are" with the third baseman after the series against the White Sox. ... RHP Carson Smith (Tommy John surgery) threw a bullpen session Sunday and is scheduled for another one on Tuesday. "We're hopeful that hitters are soon in his schedule," Farrell said.
White Sox: RHP James Shields (right lat strain) threw 45 pitches over three innings in a simulated game. "I think we're ready to go on a rehab assignment here soon," he said. ... RHP Nate Jones (elbow inflammation) threw 25 pitches in a bullpen session, including some sliders.
Sale (5-2, 2.34 ERA) is 4-0 with a 3.57 ERA in five May starts. He has struck out at least 10 in eight of his first 10 starts with his new team. Quintana (2-6, 4.82 ERA) is coming off his worst start of the year, allowing eight runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings in an 8-6 loss at Arizona on Wednesday.
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Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap
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