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Despite the fact he had not thrown a pitch all season until Tuesday night, Daniel Bard was definitely among the most-discussed players during the team’s 1-3 start this season. Should he start? Should he close? Well, for now, he’ll be starting, and that’s what he did for the first time in his major league career on Tuesday (after 192 career relief appearances).
In all, Bard was not great, but he was not bad (like Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz before him). He was charged with five runs on eight hits and a walk in 5+ innings, allowing two of his runs in the 6th as the Jays began to pull away before winning by a final of 7-3. Bard also added a career-best six strikeouts.
”He pitched good enough to win if we scored some runs,” Bobby Valentine said after the game. ”Not quite the results we were looking for and I know he’s a little disappointed but you take that 30 times a year, you’re going to get a lot of wins out of it. I’d bet anything on that.”
The Blue Jays clubbed seven singles (out of the eight hits) off Bard, who allowed a single run in the first and two more in the third. In the sixth, Bard allowed a walk and single before being pulled in favor of lefty Justin Thomas. Thomas walked Eric Thames to load the bases, and then gave up a two-run single to J.P Arencibia.
After the game, Valentine was kicking himself for not putting Matt Albers in to face Arencibia (and hopefully induce a ground ball double play). Instead, he left Thomas out on the mound.
”Just a dumb move,” Valentine said. ”I don’t like being dumb. I like doing what I’m supposed to do.”
On the other side, Kyle Drabek, the prized acquisition in the Roy Halladay deal, pitched extremely well. He allowed just one run on three hits and three walks in 5.1 innings pitched, picking up his first win since last June despite past difficulties against the Red Sox lineup.
The Red Sox were held scoreless until the sixth inning, when the team nabbed a run on an Adrian Gonzalez sac fly. They grabbed their final two in the 9th when Gonzalez doubled home two more.
Kevin Youkilis, who started the season 0-12, finished 2-4.
Jon Lester will oppose Ricky Romero in the rubber game of the series on Wednesday afternoon.