CLEVELAND -- All along, Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell has said ace lefty David Price will pitch every fifth day as often as possible, even when a day off in the schedule allows for an extra day of rest.
But after Thursday night's game was postponed, Farrell announced Price will pitch Monday, the home-opener at Fenway Park, rather than Sunday on normal rest in Toronto.
"Everything slides back a day," Farrell said. "That puts David Price in the opener back in Boston."
Price started Tuesday, allowing two runs and striking out 10 in six innings on Opening Day against the Cleveland Indians. He's 11-1 with a 3.34 ERA in 15 career starts in Toronto, but Farrell opted to start knuckleballer Steven Wright on Sunday against the heavy-hitting Blue Jays.
"It'll be a treat for our fans to see him on Opening Day [at home]," Farrell said of Price. "That'll be a good thing. And looking forward to it. But before we get back, these three games in Toronto will be good ones for us."
With rain, frigid temperatures and possibly even snow in the forecast for Thursday night in downtown Cleveland, the Red Sox had their series finale against the Indians postponed. A makeup date was not announced, but Aug. 15 is the most likely date, according to Farrell.
The dome at Rogers Centre will be a welcome sight for the Red Sox, who spent five days in Cleveland but played only two games because of inclement weather. And although the sun finally came out Tuesday, the 34-degree temperature at game time made it the coldest season-opener in Cleveland since 1907.
Smith getting closer: Reliever Carson Smith threw from 90 feet off flat ground and "with good intensity," Farrell said, at the Red Sox's spring-training facility in Fort Myers, Florida, and is scheduled for his first bullpen session Sunday. Smith has been sidelined since mid-March with a strained flexor mass muscle in his right forearm.
Barring a setback, Smith could be cleared to pitch in games, likely in a minor-league rehab assignment, by the middle of next week. According to that schedule, he might be ready to rejoin the Red Sox toward the end of their first homestand, a 10-game, 11-day stretch that begins Monday.
"This past week has been an encouraging one from the standpoint of the intensity, number of throws, the distance," Farrell said. "He’s progressing at a good rate right now. The most encouraging thing is he’s getting closer to the mound."
The Red Sox could have used Smith on Wednesday night. Pitching in back-to-back games for the first time after being shut down late last season because of heavy usage, reliever Junichi Tazawa allowed a go-ahead solo home run to Cleveland's Mike Napoli in the seventh inning of a 7-6 loss.
Nothing personal, Clay: When Clay Buchholz went on a 13-start run last season in which he posted a 2.55 ERA, his personal catcher was backup Sandy Leon, the combination working so well that Buchholz never threw to rookie Blake Swihart.
So, after Buchholz gave up four first-inning runs (and five runs in four innings overall) Wednesday night while working with Swihart, it was worth wondering if the Red Sox might make a point of trying to pair Buchholz with veteran backup Ryan Hanigan.
"I wouldn't think so," Farrell said. "Blake being behind the plate is not new for [Buchholz]. He caught him in spring training multiple times. I wouldn't put last night on the combination of the two. ... I'm fully confident Blake and Clay will put together a solid game plan."
But Buchholz isn't the easiest pitcher to work with, largely because he throws so many pitches and likes to call his own game.
"Clay is unique in that way," Farrell said. "He's going to go on feel. He's going to use the entire count. He's going to use different pitches in different sequences. He uses everything at his disposal. Blake is certainly capable of building that relationship, building that rapport."