Ortiz, Red Sox 4 million apart in arbitration filings

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Ortiz, Red Sox 4 million apart in arbitration filings

If the Red Sox and David Ortiz are to settle on a salary for the 2012 season without having the matter settled in arbitration, they've got a gap of almost 4 million to close in the next few weeks.

One of four Red Sox players still eligible for salary arbitration, Ortiz filed a request for 16.5 million, while the Red Sox countered at 12.65 million. Should the matter go to a hearing, an arbitrator must choose either one figure or the other, with no middle ground as an option.

The 16.5 million is the highest salary requested by a full-time DH, while the Red Sox filed a figure only slightly higher than Ortiz's base salary of 12.5 million from 2011.

In fact, when Ortiz's performance bonuses are added to his base last season, he earned exactly 12.65 million in 2011, meaning the Red Sox are effectively not offering him a raise at all.

Ortiz finished fourth in the American League with a .952 OPS in 2012 while hitting 29 homers and knocking in 96 RBI. It was his best season since 2007, but the Red Sox are betting that the depressed market for DHs -- only Adam Dunn and Travis Hafner are scheduled to make more than 12.65 million in 2012 and no other full-time DH will make an eight-figure salary.

Increasingly, American League teams are utilizing several players in the DH spot, providing payroll and lineup flexibility.

Three other Red Sox players also filed for salary arbitration Tuesday.

Reliever Andrew Bailey, obtained from Oakland last month, filed a request of 4.7 million while the Red Sox countered at 3.35 million. Daniel Bard, arbitration eligible for the first time, filed at 1.825 million with the Sox coming in at 1.4 million.

Finally, Alfredo Aceves requested 1.6 million, with the Red Sox filing a figure of 950,000.

The Red Sox can continue to negotiate with the four players up until the date of scheduled hearings, which are scheduled to run between Feb. 1-21 in St. Petersburg, FL.

The Sox haven't gone to a hearing since 2002, when they beat pitcher Rolando Arrojo.

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.