Bard solid in Sox win, wants to pitch deeper into games

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Bard solid in Sox win, wants to pitch deeper into games

BOSTON Facing the reigning American League MVP and Cy Young winner, Daniel Bard showed little sign of intimidation. He also tried to avoid thinking of his counterpart in the game.

I think you kind of try to avoid that as a starter, Bard said. You know hes going to give you a battle but I dont have to hit off him so thats a good thing. Hes also facing the best offense in the league, in my opinion. So I knew that Im just going to try to keep us in it for three or four and I knew one of those innings we were going to get to him and when we got up to 4-0 or 4-1 you're kind of like OK this is our game.

"I just got to settle in and keep doing what Im doing. But its nice to get a little breathing room. You dont expect it against a guy like him. You expect its going to be 1-1, 0-0 til late in the game. It was good that we could get some runs off him.

Bard went 5 13 innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks with four strikeouts and a hit batter as the Red Sox beat the Tigers, 6-3, for the second straight.

The win got the Sox over .500 for the first time this season in their seventh try. It also brought Bards record to .500, at 5-5, with a 4.56 ERA. The Sox are 4-5 in games Bard starts (he got the win April 23, pitching two-thirds of an inning in relief in Minnesota).

This is big for our team. Bard said. In the grand scheme its just one game but to do it against the guy thats the reigning MVP, and Cy Young, I mean, thats, if nothing else, good for our confidence to know that no matter who the other teams running out there on a given day weve got a good chance to beat him. So hes still one of the best and we just got the hits when we needed them.

The two runs Bard allowed came on solo home runs one by Jhonny Peralta in the fifth, and by Prince Fielder into the right field seats to lead off the sixth.

It was the first time in his career Bard has given up a home run in three straight games, and just the third time hes given up two home runs in a game. He gave up two home runs in Yankee Stadium on Aug. 9, 2009, and to the Tigers on May 19, 2011.

As long as they're solo home runs and not coming too often, thats a lot better way to give up runs than grinding through an inning, 20, 30 pitches, Bard said. At least that kind of gets it out of the way.

Bard would like to be going deeper into games, though.

I understand manager Bobby Valentine being conservative with me the last couple because the walks have been an issue coming into this one and I see where his minds at, Bard said. I just wanted him to know that I want to be out there and be going six, seven innings a start. Im not satisfied with this 5 13 stuff. Its kind of weird.

"My last two outings Ive been pulled at 5 13 after a strikeout with the bases empty. And with a pitch count thats pretty reasonable both times in the low 90s, so I get where hes coming from and typically I have struggled as I get deeper in the game. But I just told him, I made it clear as respectfully as I could that Im ready to start finishing those innings. I dont need to be treated like a kid anymore. He said 'alright I want you to finish those innings', so I think were on the same page.

Bards four strikeouts were the most hes recorded in an outing since six in his third start on April 27 against the White Sox in Chicago.

Cardinals pull away late for 7-2 victory over Red Sox

Cardinals pull away late for 7-2 victory over Red Sox

The Cardinals broke open a close game with four runs in the last two innings against Red Sox relief prospect Chandler Shepherd and went on to a 7-2 exhibition victory over Boston yesterday at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers.

Red Sox-Cardinals box score

The loss dropped the Sox to 1-3 for the exhibition season.

Boston had jumped on top, 1-0, on an RBI single by Mitch Moreland in the bottom of the first, but St. Louis countered with two runs in the second and one in the third, all against starter Brian Johnson. It remained 3-1 until the Cards touched Shepherd for two runs in the eighth and two in the ninth. The Red Sox added their final run in the bottom of the ninth when catcher Jordan Procyshen, who spent last season at Single-A Salem, hit a sacrifice fly.

Moreland, Xander Bogaerts and Chris Young each had two hits for the Red Sox. who also got scoreless relief from Teddy Stankiewicz, Noe Ramirez, Robby Scott, Kyle Martin and Brandon Workman. It was Bogaerts' last game before leaving to compete for The Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.

The Sox host the Yankees on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m.

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia is no stranger to injuries. That's a big reason why he's no longer a stranger to the sometimes peculiar practices of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

In an interview on WEEI's "Bradfo Show," Pedroia told Rob Bradford that he's been taking cues from the five-time Super Bowl-winning QB to help extend his playing career and make his body healthier and more durable.

“I understand what he does and know what he does. I think it’s awesome,” Pedroia told Bradford. “There’s a reason why he’s successful at his age (39), and he looks better now than he did when he first came to the league. You have to be smarter as you get older and learn different styles -- the way to train and the way you take care of your body to be able to perform and stay on the field. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing. He’s definitely got that figured out.”

Pedroia, of course, played the entire 2013 World Series-winning season with a torn ligament in his thumb. He's battled through various other lower body and hand injuries over the past few seasons, as well. But in 2016, he had his best season in recent memory, posting his highest OPS since 2011, as WEEI notes.

Part of that is with his own take on the Brady approach -- which focuses more on pliability and resistance training than extensive, heavy weight lifting -- and a healthier overall lifestyle, something Brady is notoriously infamous for having.

"There’s tons of ways to take care of your body. It’s not just get in the weight room and throw weights around,” Pedroia explained. “As you get older, the human body can’t take the pounding if you’re going in there and power lifting. When you’re younger, you can handle some of that. But as you get older, you got to be smarter. Sometimes less is more -- whether that’s weight or reps or whatever. You’ve just got to be smart. And eating wise, that’s a big part of recovery. If you put the right foods in your body, you’ll heal faster if you’re injured or recover faster. It’s like a car, man. Put bad gas in, bro. It’s not going to be the same as good gas.”

He hopes the approach can, at the very least, keep him moving for quite some time.

“I plan on living until I’m 100," he said. "So we’re not even halfway home."