Daniel Bard was pleased after another strong spring outing. The right-hander gave up two hits, no walks and struck out two in three innings to pick up his first spring win as the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-0 on Saturday night.
"Both my walks I think it was kind of the same deal,'' Bard said. ''I was kind of cruising through the first two hitters that (first) inning, (and) the first hitter of the second inning, and was throwing the ball really well. (Then thought) `OK, let me work on some stuff on this next guy' and got a little too fancy. Just trying to be a little too perfect with some pitches.''
Bard has pitched five scoreless innings this spring as he attempts to move from the bullpen to the starting rotation.
''I have to stay aggressive in that competitive mindset,'' he said. ''When I lose track of that, and start thinking like bullpen mode, trying to work on stuff, perfect locations, and that's usually not good. So kind of took a walk and got under my skin and then I got the juices flowing again.''He was followed by right-hander Alfredo Aceves, who also threw three scoreless innings, allowing two hits with two strikeouts.
''He's an excellent pitcher,'' Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. ''He had everyone off balance. He mixed his pitches, had great movement, looked like good location.''
Aceves, also trying to work into the rotation, has also thrown five scoreless innings.
The Red Sox scored two runs with two outs in the second inning when B.J. Upton misplayed Jose Iglesias' fly ball for a three-base error.
''He just missed it,'' said Rays manager Joe Maddon. '' He came in, he was very upset with himself. He took it. He was very accountable for it. He just missed it.''
Rays starter Wade Davis pitched 2 2-3 innings and was charged with four runs, two earned, and three hits. The right-hander walked four and struck out two.
''I feel good about it,'' Davis said. ''I felt really strong. The stuff was really good.''
Maddon agreed. ''Physically I thought he threw the ball well,'' Maddon said. '' He had some good breaking balls, the command got away from him. Overall it wasn't' his sharpest performance but it wasn't' bad either.''
Rays third baseman Jeff Keppinger went 2 for 3 and is batting .385 this spring.
First baseman Elliot Johnson also went 2-for-3.
NOTES: Rays 3B Evan Longoria is ready for his first game action of the spring, as he recovers from a bruised right hand. He took batting practice Saturday against LHP Matt Moore. ... Tampa Bay DH Luke Scott is also getting closer as he progresses from right shoulder surgery. ... Rays LHP David Price's stiff neck was better. He could take his regular turn Tuesday. If not, he could be pushed back a day.