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Red Sox minor leaguer Drake Britton arrested for DUI

03.05.13 at 10:53 am ET

Red Sox minor league pitcher Drake Britton was arrested on a DUI charge following an incident in Estero, Fla., early Saturday morning, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s office.

Britton, a 23-year-old lefty who was in his first spring training with the major league team, also faces charges of reckless driving and property damage. According to the arrest report, Britton was driving 111 mph in a 45 mph zone. While being pursued by police, Britton’s pickup truck swerved between other vehicles before jumping a curb and eventually knocking over a barbed-wire fence. Britton continued driving down a dirt road for another quarter-mile and attempted to pull into a wooded area before stopping.

Britton refused a breath test but told the arresting officer he had been drinking, and he exhibited visible signs of inebriation, according to police.

Britton had been scheduled to pitch against the Yankees on Sunday but was scratched. He was demoted to Double-A Portland on Monday.

Britton, a 23rd-round pick in the 2007 draft out of Tomball (Texas) High School, started last season in Single-A Salem (Va.) and made 10 starts, going 3-5 with a 5.80 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 45 innings. He then joined Portland and made 16 starts, going 4-7 with a 3.72 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 84 2/3 innings.

UPDATE: The Red Sox released a statement Tuesday afternoon that read:

“This is a matter that the Red Sox take very seriously, and it is being addressed. The club will not make further comment on this matter.”

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