Red Sox

David Price returns, Red Sox lose to Rays, 3-2

red_sox_david_price_091717.jpg

David Price returns, Red Sox lose to Rays, 3-2

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Daivd Price had a flawless return from a nearly two-month layoff.

The 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner pitched two hitless innings in relief for the Boston Red Sox in a 3-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.

He was activated Thursday and pitched for the first time since July 22 after being sidelined by left elbow inflammation. He struck out two in his first relief appearance since 2010.

"I felt good. I put up two zeroes in a one-run game. It's fun to get back out there," said Price, who pitched for the first time since July 22 after being sidelined by left elbow inflammation. "I felt good with the curveball, threw some really good cutters, a couple good changeups. It was good."

Red Sox manager John Farrell had said Price would go no more than two innings in his first appearance. The Red Sox will attempt to determine whether he can be stretched out enough to start in the postseason.

"That was even more than I personally anticipated," said Farrell. "I'm amazed that someone who hasn't pitched in a game in nearly seven weeks would come out with that kind of command and throw three or four pitches for strikes. He is a unique pitcher and that was really a strong two innings of work."

The AL East-leading Red Sox remained three games ahead of the New York Yankees with 13 games remaining in the regular season.

Jake Odorizzi (9-8) gave up one hit in six innings and the Rays salvaged the finale of a three-game series. Jesus Sucre's solo home run off Eduardo Rodriguez regained the lead for Tampa Bay in the sixth inning after Jackie Bradley Jr. homered for the only hit off Odorizzi.

It was the sixth home run for Sucre and the 17th for Bradley.

Odorizzi took a no-hitter into the sixth, having given up only a first-inning walk to Dustin Pedroia. He had retired 14 straight when he walked Brock Holt to lead off the sixth. Bradley's two-run homer followed on a 3-2 pitch, tying the game 2-2.

According to Odorizzi, it wasn't necessarily a bad pitch, just the wrong one.

"I was throwing what was working for me," he said. "I had good life on my fastball. He was sitting dead-red. If I had thrown him a changeup he probably would have swung and missed by a good bit. But I didn't and he didn't."

Rodriguez (5-6) took the loss for the Red Sox.

Evan Longoria drove in the Rays' first two runs with singles in the first and fifth innings.

Odorizzi pitched six innings, the longest of any Rays starter in their last 10 games, giving up two runs on one hit and two walks while striking out seven.

Alex Colome pitched the ninth for his 45th save.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: RF Mookie Betts left the game in the fifth inning with a right thumb contusion. ... 2B Pedroia (left knee inflammation) returned as a DH on Sunday after a day off following his 0-for-9 performance in Friday night's 15-inning game. Pedroia will return to 2B in Baltimore on Monday night.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: RHP Doug Fister (5-8) will make his 13th start for Boston Monday night in the opener of a three-game series at Baltimore. RHP Dylan Bundy (13-9) will pitch for the Orioles.

Rays: Former Rays manager Joe Maddon will bring the Chicago Cubs to Tropicana Field for a two-game interleague series starting Tuesday night. RHP Chris Archer (9-10) will pitch for the Rays against LHP Jon Lester (11-7).

Report: Ex-Red Sox reliever Reed gets deal with Twins

red_sox_addison_reed_080317.jpg

Report: Ex-Red Sox reliever Reed gets deal with Twins

He was dubbed "Closer B" by Red Sox manager John Farrell when acquired at the trade deadline last summer, now Addison Reed is "Closer B Gone"...to the Twins.

The right-handed reliever, 29, has agreed to a two-year, $16.75 million free-agent deal with Minnesota, pending a physical, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and TheAthletic.com reports. 

Reed began last season with the Mets and had 19 saves and a 2.57 ERA before being traded to the Red Sox, where he had a 3.33 ERA in 29 games (27 innings) without a save as a setup man for Craig Kimbrell.  
 

Red Sox, Mookie Betts far apart on salary and heading toward arbitration

red-sox-mookie-betts.jpg

Red Sox, Mookie Betts far apart on salary and heading toward arbitration

The Red Sox and star right fielder Mookie Betts intend to go to an arbitration hearing in February, and there were signs this was coming even a year ago.

Betts was the only arbitration-eligible player on the Red Sox who did not settle on a contract with the team on Friday, when a deadline arrived for all teams and arbitration-eligible players to exchange 2018 salary figures. Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts and Drew Pomeranz were the biggest names to avoid hearings.

Betts filed for a $10.5 million salary and the Red Sox filed at $7.5 million.  Betts and the Red Sox agreed previously that if no figure could be settled on by the Friday deadline, they would proceed to a hearing, assistant general manager Brian O'Halloran said. 

A three-person panel of arbitrators therefore is set to determine what Betts makes in 2018: either the $7.5 million figure the Sox filed or the $10.5 million figure Betts' camp submitted. The arbitrators won't settle on a midpoint for the parties. 

O'Halloran noted to the Globe there are no hard feelings involved.

Nonetheless, such a large gap would seem to provide incentive to settle. The parties technically could still decide to do so, but that would take a change of course from the present plan. The idea was to settle any time before Friday, and they did not. 

Betts is asking for near-record money for a first-year arbitration eligible player. Kris Bryant set the record Friday with a $10.85 million settlement.

The hearings can be difficult for player-team relations because teams have to make the case in front of the player that he is worth less money than he wants.

Betts, 25, hit .264, with 24 homers, 102 RBI, 25 stolen bases and a .803 OPS in 2017, numbers that fell from his American League MVP runner-up performance in 2016, but were nonetheless very strong and coupled with first-rate defense.

This offseason is Betts' first of arbitration eligibility. In the first three years of service time in a players' career, there's no recourse if you don't like the salary a team is offering. Teams can pay players anything at league minimum or above. 

The only option a player has in those first three years is to make a stand on principle: you can force the team to technically "renew" your salary, which notes to everyone that you did not agree to the salary. Betts and his agents did that in 2017 when the Sox paid him $950,000, a very high amount relative to most contract renewals.

Some of the standard thinking behind forcing a team to renew a contract is that if an arbitration case comes up down the road — and one now looms for Betts — it's supposed to show the arbitrators that the player felt even in seasons past, he was underpaid.

Still, the Sox may have effectively combatted that perception by paying Betts almost $1 million on a renewal. Per USA Today, that $950,000 agreement in 2017 was "the second-highest one-year deal ever for a non-arbitration-eligible player with two-plus years of big league service." Mike Trout got $1 million in 2014.