Bard happy to be back with Boston


Bard happy to be back with Boston

OAKLAND -- Six Red Sox relievers came out of the bullpen and all but one -- Junichi Tazawa -- gave up at least one run in the debacle that was the 20-2 humiliation to the Oakland A's Friday night.

But there was some small solace for another. Daniel Bard, who allowed a run on two hits in the sixth inning, made his return to the big leagues after a nearly three-month demotion to the minor leagues.

"The adrenaline was there,'' said Bard. "It's not the eighth inning with a one-run lead, but it's a lot bigger stage than the one I've pitched on the last couple of months. It was fun. I felt comfortable out there.

"I wasn't quite as sharp as I would have liked to be, but I haven't pitched in four days, so, it was good to get back out there.''

Bard retired Josh Donaldson, the first major league hitter he'd faced since June 3, on an infield pop-up before allowing a solo homer to former teammate George Kottaras.

After a single to Cliff Pennington, he retired Coco Crisp, another former teammate, on a swinging bunt and got Stephen Drew to line out to first for the third out.

"Anytime you go three or four days (without throwing) as a reliever, you want to get back in there, '' said Bard, ''no matter where you're playing. So I was glad I was able to get my feet wet again today.''

Bard said he had some butterflies "but not as much as I expected. I think it's something about going through the same routine, with the same people, warming up throwing to (the same bullpen catcher) and having (bullpen coach Gary) Tuck standing next to me, it's a familiar place for me. So I think that kind of helped me relax a little. I wasn't as sharp as I would have liked to be, but it was really good to be out there.''

Evaluating his stuff, Bard said he was far from perfect. His velocity was down, too, as his fastball topped out at 92 mph.

"But it's almost September,'' he said. "I feel like I worked really hard just to get back here. Everything's not perfect. It's not where I want it. But I've definitely made some big steps in the right direction. I'll just try to continue that for the next month.

"I know I've got to prove some things to some people and I'm ready to do that.''

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels


Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels:


* “He just had very good command the entire night. Stayed ahead in the count [and] pitched to all quadrants of the strike zone. He used his four-seamer in on some powerful right-handed hitters in their lineup.” John Farrell on Rick Porcello’s performance.

* “We needed a win bad and swung the bats well and played good defense. That’s a big win for us.” Rick Porcello said after his win in an interview with NESN.

* “24 hours ago we were probably in a much different place mentally after a ball game like tonight.” Farrell on the win.

“That was probably the first time I sat on off-speed pitches this whole year. I took a chance, took a gamble.” Jackie Bradley Jr. said on his home run.


* Rick Porcello completed his first game in a Red Sox uniform in the 6-2 win. The CG was the fifth of his career and his first since he threw three in 2014. The righty has 14 wins, one win shy of tying his career high.

* Xander Bogaerts had his first multi extra-base hit performance of the season since June 11. He’s only done that twice this season. He extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

* David Ortiz logged his 85th RBI of the season in the win and Mookie Betts his 67th. Heading into Friday night’s game, the two were one of five pairs of teammates ranking in the top 20 in RBI. The list includes Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson, Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, Adam Duvall and Jay Bruce and Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.

* Dustin Pedroia has now reached base safely in 32 straight games.


1) Rick Porcello

Porcello had his first complete game in a Red Sox uniform, stopping Boston’s losing skid at four games.

2) Xander Bogaerts

Bogaerts finished with a double and a home run -- the only Boston hitter with multiple hits. He also led the Red Sox with three RBI and scoring twice in the win.

3) Dustin Pedroia

In addition to walking in his first two at-bats, Pedroia had a base hit -- and another walk -- scoring twice on the night.

First impressions of the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Angels


First impressions of the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Angels

First impressions of the Red Sox 6-2 win over Los Angeles:

Rick Porcello is not fazed by his fellow staff members’ struggles.

Although his teammates continue to deal with frustrations on almost a nightly basis, Porcello got the job done and put Boston in a position to win once again.

The second-inning double by Daniel Nava should have been a single, had Jackie Bradley Jr. not misplayed a funny hop. If that hit is a single, the next ground ball is a double -- and the following grounder ends the inning.

One of the most impressive components of his outing was dealing with Cole Kalhoun, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to finish his outing after already facing them three times on the night.

Xander Bogaerts had his first multi-hit game in a week.

Which in the grand scheme of things isn’t a long time -- but that can feel like a long time given the shortstop’s output this year.

It was also his first multi extra-base hit performance since June 11.

Oddly enough, those are his only two games of that kind this season.

In addition to the win, Porcello did the bullpen a favor.

Not necessarily because the relievers needed rest, but with Ziegler’s last two rough nights, they could use a break.

Although Joe Kelly and Clay Buchholz got warm late, it was more so to keep them fresh for the coming games since they haven’t thrown much.

Additionally, he gave an example for the Red Sox starting rotation that they are in fact capable of going the distance.

Tim Lincecum is barely a shell of what he used to be.

That first inning was hard to watch. The former Cy Young Award-winner threw eight straight balls, and somehow managed to work past. Even his final throw to first base in he opening frame looked like it was going off the mark.

Just hard to watch in general, which made it all the more shocking that the Red Sox couldn’t score against him.

Good for them that he never adjusted, and they took advantage of it in the ensuing innings.

Merloni: ‘Missed opportunities left and right’ for Red Sox

Merloni: ‘Missed opportunities left and right’ for Red Sox

Lou Merloni talks about the Red Sox losing 6 out of the last 7 games and if David Price should have stayed in the game for the 9th inning.