By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON -- For all the encouragement the Red Sox took out of Friday's 4-3 win over the Rays, the return of Daniel Bard may have been the most heartening.
Bards three strikeouts in the eighth inning were the most hes recorded since three in that same game in Toronto. He faced four Rays batter, allowing only a walk to Ben Zobrist.
Bard has been roughed up in recent outings. So to have a strong, scoreless inning was important.
A little bit of mechanics and just some dry work, just to try to get my timing back, Bard said of what hes been working on. It was really just simplifying my body out there just not thinking, I want to get out there and just think about attacking hitters.
I told him this the other day, I said, Theres not anybody i would rather have in my foxhole than him, Josh Beckett said. Hes Daniel Bard. I dont know what everybody else is saying but i want him pitching the eighth every game i start. For the rest of my career. I dont know if thats going to happen but thatd be pretty good. Id like my chances.
Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen
Mooke Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and a mix of Andrew Benintendi, Brock Holt, Blake Swihart and Chris Young brought postgame celebrations to a new level last season.
Most Sox fans are familiar with the outfield victory "Win, Dance, Repeat" where the trio would dance and pretend to photograph the game's best player between them. The celebration ended with a pose at first, but as seen the MLB the Show 17's freshly released trailer, a few more wrinkes were added in.
In fact, here's a taste of the celebrations and what else to expect from Playstation's 2017 MLB game:
Carlos Beltran, the 39-year-old switch hitter who was a potential target of the Red Sox as a DH, agreed to a free-agent deal with the Houston Astros, ESPN's Buster Olney reported.
FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reports that it's a one-year, $16 million deal.
Beltran played for the Astros in 2004. He was dealt from the New York Yankees to the Texas Rangers at the July 31 trading deadline last season. He totaled 35 homers, 101 RBI and hit .295 in 2016.
The Red Sox, looking to fill the void left by David Ortiz's retirement, will be looking for a DH at the Winter Meetings that begin next week. One possibility is the return of Mike Napoli, who played for the A.L. champion Cleveland Indians last season.
More on the Winter Meetings here from CSN Red Sox Insider Sean McAdam.