Wakeup call: NFL gender barrier comes down; Lakers now the best?

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Wakeup call: NFL gender barrier comes down; Lakers now the best?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Friday, August 10:

BASEBALL
Not that it'll have any direct impact around here, but MLB announced the postseason schedule yesterday. (CSN Washington)

Don't worry, Padres fans. Phil Mickelson says he'll stick to golf. (AP)

You may wonder why Matt Garza, employed by a team that's buried so deep in the postseason standings they'd need a divining rod to find them, would want to risk his health by coming back before the end of the season. It's because, in his words, pitching is like breathing. (CSN Chicago)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Jim Mora, the new coach at UCLA, never, ever, ever meant to suggest that things were unsafe over at USC. How could you even think that? Oh, no. (NBC's College Football Talk)

Bobby Petrino's doing the public contrition thing. (AP)

HOCKEY
In more sun-rises-in-Eastdog-bites-man news, the NHL says it'll lock out the players if no CBA settlement is reached by Sept. 15. (AP) We never doubted that for a second, Mr. Bettman, after two decades of your scorched-Earth labor policy.

OLYMPICS
In the days of the Cold War, the Olympic medal count was seen as nothing less than a validation of a way of life. Well, we're far beyond that kind of simplistic, jingoistic thinking . . . . but it still feels good! (nbcolympics.com)

PRO BASKETBALL
The real Dwightmare: Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin thinks the Lakers just became the best team in the NBA. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

They're excited in Philadelphia, too, where they're comparing this to the times they got Wilt Chamberlain and Moses Malone. (CSN Philly) No pressure there, eh, Andrew Bynum?

PRO FOOTBALL
Shannon Eastin got good reviews as she broke the NFL's gender barrier. (AP)

Peyton Manning's debut with the Broncos was less than Earth-shattering. (AP)

Usain Bolt? Pshaw. Chris Johnson says he can outrun him. (NBC's Pro Football Talk) Forget the race; who'd win that battle of egos?

First game, first injury: The Chargers' Ryan Matthews broke his collarbone against the Packers. (AP)

T.O.'s already got the Seahawks in dutch with the NFL. (AP)

Price turns in encouraging effort in first 2017 start

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Price turns in encouraging effort in first 2017 start

CHICAGO — It’s a start, literally and figuratively.

David Price showed some great velocity in his 2017 Red Sox debut Monday afternoon, hitting 97 mph -- heat he didn’t have last year. At times, the pitcher the Sox badly need to return to form flashed high-level effectiveness as well.

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What everyone expected would be off in Price's first start back, his command, was indeed shaky, considering he allowed more runs (three) than hits (two). But he wasn’t expected to be in tip-top form, and he did a decent job overall.

Price's five-inning, three-run performance against the White Sox came almost exactly three months after he first felt elbow soreness during spring training. The lefty exited with the Red Sox ahead 4-3, though he lost the chance at his first 2017 victory when Chicago scored in the seventh.

All three runs off Price scored on a Melky Cabrera homer in the third inning, which put the White Sox ahead 3-1 at the time. Price walked only two batters on the day, but they happened to be the two hitters in front of Cabrera.

The walk started with the No. 9 hitter, Adam Engel. Tim Anderson, who had drawn just four walks in 181 plate appearances entering the day, got a free pass as well.

But besides the Cabrera homer on a first-pitch fastball that was middle-in, the only other hit Price allowed was a shallow bloop single to center field.

Price finished with four strikeouts, including the first batter he faced on the day, Anderson.

His command issues were nonetheless clear. Price hit two batters to begin his final frame, setting up a fine play for Deven Marrero to record a force out at second before Xander Bogaerts started a inning-ending double play with a fantastic dive, bailing Price out of the first-and-third jam with one out.

With 88 pitches and 58 strikes, Price was more efficient than he was in two rehab outings at Triple-A Pawtucket, and he didn’t get rocked. But he also wasn’t as efficient as the Red Sox will need him to be.

Price was pitching in a calm, pleasant environment (clear skies, temperatures in the 70s, low humidity) that might actually have been more comfortable than the colder clime Price faced in Pawtucket -- where both the fans and temperatures were chilly.

The Red Sox were aggressive bringing Price back so quickly, and set themselves up for a second guess if something went wrong. But Price preserved the second of two leads his offense gave him and didn’t let the game get out of hand. After the Cabrera homer put the White Sox up two, the Red Sox answered immediately in the top of the fourth to tie at 3-3.

The argument that Price did better than anyone else would have in his place is a fair one, considering John Farrell and Co. slated Price to pitch Monday before they watched Brian Johnson’s complete-game shutout.

The bigger question was always about what was best for Price’s future, and Monday looks like something he can build on. He may have benefited from the adrenaline of being back in the majors.

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.