Red Sox happy with first three picks in MLB Draft

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Red Sox happy with first three picks in MLB Draft

The financial structure and signing bonuses may be different, but when it comes to the baseball end of the first-year draft, the Red Sox stayed with a traditional approach, focusing on the middle of the diamond and the pitcher's mound.

The Sox had three of the first 37 picks in the first round and sandwich round and used them to select shortstop Deven Marrero No. 24 from Arizona State, lefthander Brian Johnson from the University of Florida at No. 31 and righty Pat Light from Monmouth University at No. 37.

Marrero profiles as a superb defender, but there are questions about his bat after his average plummeted from .397 as a freshman to .315 as a sophomore and .284 this season.

Still, the Red Sox, who scouted him in high school and extensively in the Cape Cod League, aren't worried about his offense.

"We've gotten a chance to know him," said Amiel Sawdaye, the Red Sox' scouting director. "He's got a flat swing and he sprays the ball around the field. I don't think the offensive decline was much of a worry for us. I'm sure he expected to have a better year statistically, but it's not something that's a concern for us."

Marrero was the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year in the PAC-10 and made the conference's first-team All-Star team this year.

Johnson isn't overpowering, though he can hit 92 mph with his fastball. He has exceptional command and might be able to move up the minor league ladder quickly because of his secondary pitches.

"He has a repeatable delivery and throws strikes," said Sawdaye. "He's super competitive and (playing for a national power), someone who has pitched on the big stage."

Johnson also played first base and showed plus power at times which Sawdaye termed "intriguing. But he's definitely a pitcher for us."

Light, who was 20-0 in high school, is more of a classic power pitcher, with a big, lanky frame (6-foot-6, 210 pounds). He was 7-3 with a 2.81 ERA and struck out 87 in 86 innings while walking just 12 this season.

His fastball reached 97-98 in his junior year.

Sawdaye said the Red Sox, as a rule, like to select big pitches and both Johnson and Light fit that mold. Johnson is 6-foot-3, 230 pounds.

Both pitchers were selected with compensation picks awarded to the Red Sox for losing free agent reliever Jonathan Papelbon to the Philadelphia Phillies last November.

Price struggles in third inning, but otherwise shines in first start

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Price struggles in third inning, but otherwise shines in first start

CHICAGO -- Everything was going smoothly until the No. 9 hitter.

Protecting a 1-0 lead in the third inning Monday in his first start of 2017, David Price walked two straight batters with none on and one out in the third inning. Ninth-place hitter Adam Engel walked, as did leadoff man Tim Anderson -- who had drawn just four walks in 181 plate appearances entering the game.

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Price, whose command was in question coming off just two rehab starts for Triple-A Pawtucket, immediately paid for the consecutive free passes.

Melky Cabrera jumped on Price's first pitch, a middle-in fastball, for a three-run homer and a 3-1 lead.

The Sox got Price two runs back in the top of the fourth inning, giving him something of a fresh slate with a tie game at 3-3. He took advantage of the second chance, striking out two of the three batters he faced in the bottom of the inning and keeping the game tied, and was rewarded when Mookie Betts homered to lead off the fifth and put the Red Sox back on top, 4-3.

He immediately put himself back in hot water by hitting the first two batters in the bottom of the fifth. But two groundballs to the left side -- the second of which, hit by Cabrera, was turned into an inning-ending double play -- got Price and the Sox out of the inning with their lead intact.

Back from an elbow injury, Price was impressive out of the gate in his first major league game since last year's playoffs. He struck out Anderson to begin his season and needed just 14 pitches in a 1-2-3 first inning.

The lefty touched 96 mph on the final pitch of the first inning, which produced an easy groundout to shortstop from first baseman Jose Abreu.

Price was staked to a 1-0 lead before he threw a pitch.

Betts' leadoff double against Chicago's David Holmberg gave way to a run thanks to some great Betts base running. He took third base on Dustin Pedroia's ground out and then scored on a foul pop up that Abreu, the first baseman, snagged in foul territory with a basket catch — a rare sacrifice fly to the first baseman.

Home runs were a big problem for Price last year. So too was the third inning, when he had a 6.03 ERA.

Pedroia lifted in second inning after hurting wrist in collision

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Pedroia lifted in second inning after hurting wrist in collision

CHICAGO -- Injury scares are finding Dustin Pedroia in all the wrong places.

The Red Sox second baseman was pulled in the second inning Monday afternoon against the White Sox because of a left wrist sprain, an injury he seemed to suffer on a collision running to first base in the top of the first inning.

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He and White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu converged on the bag at the same time on a grounder to Abreu, and Pedroia tumbled over Abreu

Pedroia had season-ending surgery on the wrist in September 2014, addressing a tendon issue. Pedroia had surgery on his left knee this year, and missed time after Manny Machado's slide caught him in that leg in April.

Pedroia during the last homestand was pulled as a precaution because of concern for that leg.

Josh Rutledge took over for Pedroia at second base.