BOSTON It was an outing that left Daniel Bard bewildered. Losing to the American Leagues worst offense, thats easy to understand.Bard went 5 13 innings, giving up four runs, tying a season high with eight hits allowed, two walks, a season-low one strikeout, and a hit batter. He threw 101 pitches, 60 for strikes, raising his ERA from 3.72 to 4.38.Although he limited the As to just one over the first five innings, Bard struggled throughout. After the second inning, Bard went to three-ball counts seven times.Just had a hard time putting guys away, said Bard, whose record fell to 2-3, while the Red Sox fell to 11-13. I felt like, especially early in the game, I was getting to 0-2 and 1-2 counts and I would make those pitches on the edge of the zone and for whatever reason just wasnt getting chases and they were fouling off and they kid of worked till I left something over the plate.Thats kind of what happened later in the game, but I was a little bewildered coming out, looking at how I felt and the results. I felt really good, and I think the one thing that could have been really better was establishing a breaking ball a little more.The As saved their major damage against Bard for the sixth inning. Bard faced six Oakland batters, recording just one out.Josh Reddick led off with a single to left-center before Yoenis Cespedes flied out to Marlon Byrd in center. Seth Smith doubled in Reddick on a ball that twisted Cody Ross around in left. Kila Ka'aihue doubled in Smith, and Bard hit Kurt Suzuki on the left hand with a 93-mph fastball. Brandon Inge doubled in Kaaihue, ending Bards outing.Bards bewilderment was obvious as he attempted to explain the inning.I cant even remember how it started, he said. I know there was Smiths pop-up to left and thats just something you have to work with. Any left fielder will tell you thats a tough spot to play out there. Just tried to work around it. Again, got myself into some good counts with the hitters after that, got an out. Then I dont remember how it went. I know I gave up a run on that but youre just trying to, at that point, limit the damage and like I said got to two strikes with the next couple guys and left a pitch kind of over the middle to Inge after he lays off a couple of good breaking balls. And got ahead on Suzuki the next guy and end up hitting him.So, got to the situations where I had a chance to really limit the damage to two runs there and just wasnt able to do it.Bard has not been helped by his offense. It was the second time in his four starts this season the Sox have not scored while he has been in the game, and he has received one run or fewer in three of his four outings.I thought he pitched good, said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. He made some good pitches. That one inning it seems like he can't get over that one inning but we didn't put any runs on the board either way. I think he went out there and pitched great. He had a good slider working, good changeup, fell behind for some guys but all in all he did pretty good.Manager Bobby Valentine was also pleased with Bards performance.Bard once again looked like a pretty good pitcher, Valentine said. Worked quick, got some quick innings. A little adversity in the sixth there cost him a few runs. Other than, that he pitched really well. Had some pitches that he thought could have been strikes, and those innings, those are pages that you have to turn. And Im sure he will.
Three things we learned from the Boston Red Sox' 5-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night . . .
Quotes, notes and stars from the Boston Red Sox' 5-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves.
"When he's gotten in trouble, it's been a combination of location and pitches up in the strike zone. That was the case tonight. . . It's more general location than one pitch that he's getting burned on. '' - John Farrell on Clay Buchholz's poor start.
"No disrespect to (Jace) Peterson, but you're wanting to force contact. He hasn't hit for a high average.'' - Farrell on Buchholz walking No. 7 hitter Peterson three times.
"When do you walk guys, you do your best to try to minimize the damage and I didn't do a good enough job of that.'' - Buchholz, who saw Peterson come around to score twice after his three walks.
"It's frustrating when you can't put your finger on what you need to do it, and when you need to do it and why. All I can do right now is learn from it and get better in these next couple of days.'' - Buchholz.
"I didn't hear anything. The play was right in front of me, so I couldn't see him say anything. I just assumed I was out.'' - Xander Bogaerts, who was ruled safe at second on a force play by umpire Joe West, but believing he was out, came off the bag and was tagged out in the first inning.
* Clay Buchholz has allowed five earned runs in four of his five starts this season.
* Heath Hembree pitched multiple innings for the fourth time this season and remains unscored upon in them.
* Over the last eight games, Dustin Pedroia is hitting .436 (17-for-39) with nine extra-base hits.
* All three of Chris Young's hit off lefthanded pitchers this season have been doubles.
* Hanley Ramirez (three hits, two RBI) has driven in a run in each of his last four games and six of his last seven.
* The Sox have scored in the first inning in eight of the last nine games.
1) Nick Markakis
The Braves right fielder had a four hit night and knocked in three runs.
2) Jhoulys Chacin
Atlanta's starter wasn't overpowering, but he limited the Sox to two runs over five-plus innings and earned the victory.
3) Hanley Ramirez
Ramirez broke out a bit at the plate with three hits, while knocking in the first two Red Sox runs.
First impressions from the Red Sox' 5-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves
Another night, another less-than-satisfactory start for Clay Buchholz. Since the end of their last homestand, the Red Sox are 6-2. Both of those losses were hung on Buchholz.
Buchholz wasn't horrendous - he did manage to pitch into the seventh inning and five runs in 6 1/3 isn't a shellacking.
But five runs to this Braves lineup is nothing to shout about, either, and Buchholz made matters worse by walking the No. 7 hitter -- Jace Peterson, who came into the game with a .205 average -- three times. Twice, Peterson came around to score.
In fact, the bottom third of the order was 3-for-7 with three walks.
Hanley Ramirez showed some progress at the plate.
Before the game, John Farrell noted that Ramirez had been expanding the zone of late, and working to correct the issue with hitting instructors Chili Davis and Victor Rodriguez.
Something apparently clicked, as Ramirez was 3-for-3 in his first three at-bats with two RBI.
The one thing that's been lacking for Ramirez: power. He came into the game with just one homer and a paltry .373 slugging percentage.
It wasn't much of a night for former Red Sox players.
Catcher A.J. Pierzynski was 0-for-4, and for the second straight night, failed to catch a routine foul pop-up.
Meanwhile, reliever Alexi Ogando came in for the seventh inning and promptly allowed a leadoff single and a walk to the first two hitters he faced before recording two more outs and getting lifted for lefty Hunter Cervenka.
Turnabout is fair play for Chris Young.
Young got the start in left field over Brock Holt, despite the fact that Atlanta started a righthander (Jhoulys Chacin).
Young was 1-for-3 with a double, though that one hit came off lefty reliever Eric O'Flaherty.
Then, in the eighth inning with righthander Jim Johnson on the mound for the Braves, John Farrell sent Holt up to pinch-hit for Young.
That marked the first time that Holt hit for Young; to the great consternation of many, Young had been sent up to hit for Holt three times in the first week or so of the season.
By the way: Holt grounded out to end the inning.