Notes: Bard takes another loss

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Notes: Bard takes another loss

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Daniel Bard stood in front of his locker, surrounded by reporters. Again.

Bard was answering questions about another tough, late-inning loss. Again.

Bard had been the loser Wednesday night in Toronto when the Sox saw a two-run deficit frittered away in the eighth. On Saturday, he had entered a tie game in the 11th, only to give up a leadoff triple to Desmond Jennings and, one out later, a game-winning single to Evan Longoria, giving the Rays a 6-5 win.

The pitching to Longoria, 0-and-2, was "exactly where we wanted it. Chest high . . . 98 mph . . . ''

The loss was Bard's seventh of the season -- three more than Bard accumulated in his first two seasons combined. The back-to-back losses were the first for Bard in his career.

"Tonight would have been a good one to win,'' said Bard, "a come-from-behind win. Unfortunately, we couldn't do it.''

Bard actually followed closer Jonathan Papelbon to the mound after Papelbon was brought in for the ninth inning. After a lot of work Thursday night, Terry Francona wanted to limit Bard to a single inning, while Papelbon was rested enough for two.

Jacoby Ellsbury, who hit a game-tying homer in the bottom of the ninth, went sliding in the right-center gap, hoping to catch a ball off the bat of Desmond Jennings.

Darnell McDonald, in right field, went after the ball, too, though Ellsbury called for it.

The ball fell between them for a triple, leading to the winning run.

"I felt like I got a good read on it,'' said McDonald. "The ball fell, so it was in a perfect spot. We got there at the same time. I heard him call the ball. I tried to get out of the way and the ball dropped. That's about how it's going for us right now.''

"We're trying to catch the ball,'' said Ellsbury. "I feel like we should catch everything out there.''

Making his third major league start, Kyle Weiland lasted just four innings, allowing three runs.

But considering the trouble he sometimes got himself into, that wasn't bad.

Weiland was able to limit the damage to a solo run in the first after loading the bases with no out in the first. It was more of the same in the third when he filled the bases with one out and kept the Rays to a single run.

"I dug myself a little bit into a hole,'' acknoweldged Weiland," and I made a few quality pitches and I Was able to get out of it with minimal damage. (But) it's tough to get out of those when you keep digging a hole like that.

Kevin Youkilis didn't return from Boston after getting an injection for his sore hip and will re-join the Red Sox when they return home from their current trip.

"He's a little sore,'' said Terry Francona, "which wasn't unexpected. We'll see where he's at on Tuesday.''

Francona confirmed that Youkilis has "the onset of the sports hernia,'' while adding that the term is general and means only that Youkilis "had a weakening of an area, which we already knew.''

Francona said Youkilis will be examined further at the conclusion of the Red Sox' season to determine whether any surgical procedure is needed in the offseason.

"For now, he can play as tolerated,'' said Francona, "and I think they believe he can play. And if he needs a day off, we can certainly do that.''

With Youkilis out Saturday and Sunday, Jed Lowrie will continue to man third base, with Mike Aviles also available.

Erik Bedard, who had a left lat pull examined in Boston Friday, rejoined the club and, according to Francona, "is improving.

"We don't want to rush him back,'' added the manager. "It's so easy to make mistakes when you're getting thin (with pitching), when in reality, you're messing up. I think we're just going to do the best we can in the meantime.''

Bedard was going to be skipped this weekend anyway because his left knee was tender, but the lat issue may be push that back further.

Francona said Bedard taking his next turn, which would be Thursday or so, "is not realistic. Again, the timetable isn't set in stone. It's more like how he feels.''

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract bn August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:

“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”

Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.

That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.

Moreland, Travis homer to lead Red Sox past Northeastern 9-6 in opener

Moreland, Travis homer to lead Red Sox past Northeastern 9-6 in opener

Mitch Moreland and Sam Travis hit three-run homers and left-hander Brian Johnson started and pitched two scoreless innings to help the Red Sox win their spring training opener, 9-6, over Northeastern University on Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Johnson, who made one spot start in his MLB debut with the Red Sox in 2015 but then was derailed by injuries and anxiety issues last season, struck out three and walked one Thursday. He's expected to start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he went 5-6 with a 4.44 ERA in 15 starts in 2016.

Moreland, the left-handed hitting first baseman signed to a one-year deal after spending his first seven seasons with the Texas Rangers, and Travis, a right-handed hitting first base prospect coming back from knee surgery last season, each hit three-run homers in a six-run third inning.

Pablo Sandoval, attempting to reclaim the third-base job after missing nearly all of last season after surgery on his left shoulder, went 1-for-2 with a double. 

The Red Sox open Grapefruit League play Friday afternoon when they host the New York Mets at JetBlue Park.