Sanchez 1st player to win in arbitration this year

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Miami Marlins pitcher Anibal Sanchez became the first player to win in salary arbitration this year when a three-person panel awarded him $8 million rather than the team's offer of $6.9 million.

Arbitrators Elizabeth Neumeier, James Oldham and Gil Vernon made the decision Monday, three days after hearing arguments.

Sanchez, who is eligible for free agency after this season, was 8-9 with a 3.67 ERA in 32 starts last year, when he struck out 202 in 196 1-3 innings. He made $3.7 million.

Teams lead 2-1 in decisions following wins over pitchers John Lannan of Washington and Jeff Niemann of Tampa Bay. Seventeen players remain scheduled for hearings.