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March 05. 2013 11:18PM

Red Sox pitcher Britton charged with DUI; Ortiz looks good

Boston Red Sox pitcher Drake Britton was arrested Saturday morning and charged with reckless driving, driving under the influence and property damage, according to the Lee County (Fla.) Sheriff's office, as reported by several media outlets.

The 23-year-old was clocked at the maximum 111 miles an hour in a 45 mph zone in Estero, Fla., next to Boston's spring training home of Fort Myers, according to the arrest report. As police pursued, Britton swerved between other moving vehicles and hopped over a curb.

"This is a matter that the Red Sox take very seriously, and it is being addressed," the Red Sox said in a statement Tuesday. "The club will not make further comment on this matter."

The police report said the truck knocked down a barbed-wire fence, then continued on a dirt road for a quarter of a mile and tried to pull into a wooded area before stopping.

The arresting officer said Britton's breath smelled of alcohol, and he had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes. He refused a breath test, but the officer said he admitted he had been drinking. He was taken to a local jail.

Britton was one of three players sent to minor-league camp on Monday. He finished last season with Double-A Portland, and posted a 4-7 record with a 3.72 ERA in 16 starts.

The Sports Xchange

Ortiz running smoothly

After a successful baserunning exercise Monday morning, David Ortiz now believes he can live with the soreness in his Achilles tendon.

And that means he believes he will be ready in plenty of time for Opening Day.

"The main goal right now is to make sure I get to play down here - if I play down here, that means I'm good to go, you know what I'm saying?" said the designated hitter shortly after he ran at top speed along the bases on a back field.

First he ran one base a time, then two, then all four, repeating some segments, checking in along the way with training staff and manager John Farrell.

Ortiz said he ran better Monday than he normally does, joking that he was not up for one of his rare triples.

"I did it all today and nothing gave me a hard time," said Ortiz.

Farrell said that the running exercise added up to a "very encouraging day'' for Ortiz.

"Very aggressive - with each trip around the bases, he ran with a little bit more intensity," said Farrell. "He came out of it feeling good about himself and I'm sure (today) will be another baserunning drill that will be less intense and probably not as much volume."

Ortiz will run today as long as the stiffness he expected to develop at some point either last night or by this morning is not overwhelming. He is getting used to the idea that by ramping up his exercise routine, he will loosen up calcification near the slight tear of the Achilles. The soreness is not expected to dissipate overnight, but eventually the doctors believe that it will cease to be an issue.

In the meantime, Ortiz is learning how to cope with the lingering discomfort.

"The soreness situation, we're trying to manage right now, I'm trying to learn that part of it so if it happens during the season, I know how to manage it," said Ortiz. "If I need a day off, I'll talk to the manager about it. If I'm good to go, I'm good to go.

"It feels good. When I get it going, I'm fine, you know what I'm saying? The problem is once I cool off, I start getting soreness and stuff. The doctors say it will go away. It's just part of the treatment, part of (that I) started doing things. I wasn't running like that, you know what I'm saying? When you're injured, you have to start getting used to it."

And now, both he and the Red Sox want to get used to seeing him in the batter's box with increasing regularity.

Boston Herald


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