Sox may turn Bard into a starter

586520.jpg

Sox may turn Bard into a starter

Apparently, there's more to this Daniel Bard-to-the-starting-rotation talk than mere speculation.

Speaking Saturday at the 'Christmas at Fenway' festivities, manager Bobby Valentine said he told Bard to "prepare to be a starter and if that, in fact, does not happen, to be ready and willing to be our closer."

"Daniel, as we would hope he would say, said, 'Hey, whatevers best for the team,' " Valentine said.

According to Valentine, the Sox will stretch Bard out in spring training as they do their starting pitchers, then will make a decision three or four weeks into camp as to how they'll use him.

Hes going to be penciled in to be one of those guys who works going from his bullpen to pitching two innings to pitching four innings to pitching six innings," said Valentine. "Whenever we get to that plateau, with the pitching coach Ill hopefully have by my side soon, and all the members of the staff and front office, well have to make a determination after that 18- to 20-inning mark as to where he will be during the season."

Talking points: Patrice Bergeron is best player on ice in Bruins' win

ap_17057733762700.jpg

Talking points: Patrice Bergeron is best player on ice in Bruins' win

Here are the talking points from the Boston Bruins' 6-3 win over the Dallas Stars where Patrice Bergeron scored two goals.

Red Sox can't rally against Rays after Chris Archer's start

Red Sox can't rally against Rays after Chris Archer's start

The appearance of Tampa Bay Rays lefty Ryan Yarbrough almost got the Boston Red Sox back in their spring training exhibition game. The Sox managed to score all three of their runs against the 25-year-old in their 7-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida on Sunday.

But the Rays, who scored runs in five different innings, managed to widen their lead in the eighth inning by beating up on Sox lefty Luis Isla, a 24-year-old who spent last season with Portland and Pawtucket. In the eighth, Rays' Joe McCarthy homered and Luke Maile managed an RBI single, which cappped off the scoring in the contest. Sox starter Hector Velazquez allowed three hits and an earned run in his two innnings. The 28-year-old, who spent 2016 in the Mexican League, still managed to amass four strikeouts.

"I was a little nervous at the start, being in the United States for the first time and playing for a big league club for the first time," Velazquez told RedSox.com through an interpreter. "But once I got the first out, all the nerves went away, and I was able to bear down."

Despite allowing two homers, Boston pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts.

With the exception of the Sox' inning against Yarbrough, Boston's veterans and prospects struggled mighltily against the Rays pitching staff. Chris Archer started for Tampa, and set the tone in the first two innings, where he threw two strikeouts, one walk and allowed one hit and no runs. Andrew Benintendi (0-for-3), Sam Travis (0-for-2) and Bryce Brentz (0-for-3) went hitless on the day. Travis, however, reached base on balls.

"I felt good. I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish," Archer said, via the Red Sox' team website. "Just out there having fun, it was really fun to be out there in the spectrum with the umpire, the fans, the batter. It was fun."

Marco Hernandez's triple got the Sox' eighth-inning off to a strong start, and singles from Matt Dominguez, Deven Marrero, Rusney Castillo and Cole Sturgeon followed. The Sox' eighth inning scoring ended after Castillo got thrown out by left fielder McCarthy at third. Six Red Sox finished with one-hit outings, including Brock Holt and Blake Swihart.

The Sox will next host the St. Louis Cardinals in Fort Myers on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET.