Pap endorses Bard in rotation

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Pap endorses Bard in rotation

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Jonathan Papelbon has been both a reliever and a starter in pro ball and has no doubt that former teammate Daniel Bard, who is attempting to move from the bullpen to the starting rotation, can make the transition.

"I had a long talk with Daniel this offseason about that,'' Papelbon revealed after reporting to camp with the Philadelpha Phillies. "I'm excited to see what he can do. I think Daniel has a phenomenal career ahead of him and in my opinion, there's no reason why he can't start.

"Daniel can do whatever he wants to do. He's that good. He's matured into a phenomenal pitcher and he's only going to get better. The sky's the limit for him. It truly, really is. He can really go out there and do whatever he sets his mind to.''

Papelbon very nearly went to the rotation in 2007 because of some long-term concerns about his shoulder holding up under all the pressure of being a closer.

Ultimately, with a few weeks left in spring training, Papelbon went to then-manager Terry Francona and asked to go back to the bullpen.

"When that happened to me,'' he recounted, "I had to go with my heart. I had to go with what I felt like I was going to be successful with for 162 games. For me, when I asked myself that question, that was closing.

"I learned how to pitch being a closer in college. That's what drives me, what gets me up every morning and makes me want to go to work. I couldn't ignore that.''

Eduardo Rodriguez strong, Red Sox down Mariners for 5th straight win

Eduardo Rodriguez strong, Red Sox down Mariners for 5th straight win

BOSTON (AP)  Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six scoreless innings and the Boston Red Sox took advantage of a sloppy performance by the Seattle Mariners to earn their season-high fifth straight win, 3-0 on Friday night.

It was the third consecutive win for Rodriguez (4-1), who went six innings, gave up just five hits and struck out four while throwing a season-high 112 pitches. Craig Kimbrel earned his 13th save.

Rodriguez has pitched at least six innings in his last seven starts, going 4-0 in that span.

The only run support Rodriguez needed came in the second inning, when Hanley Ramirez scored on Josh Rutledge's RBI groundout. Boston added two more runs in the sixth, scoring on a wild pitch and passed ball.

Yovani Gallardo (2-5) took the loss. He lasted 5 1/3 innings, gave up seven hits and was responsible for all three of Boston's runs. Seattle has won just one of its last seven.

Meanwhile, Boston gave Rodriguez got lots of help from his defense. Jackie Bradley Jr. had a pair of nice plays, getting an outfield assist in the second and running down another ball on the warning track in the sixth.

In addition to the pitching miscues, the Mariners had all kinds of issues in the wet conditions, committing two fielding errors.

The Red Sox left 11 runners on base, leaving the door open for the Mariners to get back in the game. But Seattle couldn't capitalize, going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. The Mariners also left seven runners stranded.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: LHP James Paxton (strained left forearm) was slated to make a rehab start Friday night in Double-A Arkansas. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 5. He could be activated for a start at the end of the month against Colorado.

Red Sox: Infielder Marco Hernandez will be out the remainder of the season after undergoing stabilization surgery on his left shoulder on Friday. Hernandez was placed on the disabled list May 4 with a left shoulder misalignment. The 24-year-old hit .276 with two RBI in 21 games. ... A night after he left the game with left knee pain, 2B Dustin Pedroia was held out Friday for what manager John Farrell said was "precautionary reasons" because of the wet playing surface.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Rob Whalen (0-2, 4.09 ERA in Triple-A Tacoma) will be making his major league start since last season with Atlanta. He will be 12th different starting pitcher the Mariners have used this season.

Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) will be making his second major league start this year and third of his career.

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