Twins split a pairDaniel Bard is happy with his conversion from a reliever to starter this spring. So is manager Bobby Valentine. Now, he’ll have to wait and see if it was enough to lock up a spot in the Red Sox’s rotation this season.
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Daniel Bard is happy with his conversion from a reliever to starter this spring. So is manager Bobby Valentine.
Now, he’ll have to wait and see if it was enough to lock up a spot in the Red Sox’s rotation this season.
Bard made his final case Friday, striking out seven and giving up three runs on four hits through six innings of a 9-7 victory over a Minnesota Twins split-squad. Cody Ross led the Red Sox offense with a pair of two-run home runs.
The Twins later defeated Toronto 4-1 on Friday.
“There are still some decisions to be made, but I really feel like I’ve gotten better with each start,” Bard said. “Throw the numbers aside, just how I’m throwing the ball. My comfort throwing out on the mound. That’s my purpose, just to keep getting better.”
Bard gave up one run through five innings before faltering late. The former reliever has been competing with Alfredo Aceves, Felix Doubront and Aaron Cook for the final two starting pitching spots for the Red Sox the last month.
Also hitting well once again was Joe Mauer. The Twins’ catcher added two singles to raise his spring training average to .367 after dropping to a career-low .287 last year while battling injuries.
The former American League MVP and three-time batting champion is healthy again, and it shows.
“That’s just seeing more pitches, getting more at-bats,” Mauer said. “That’s what spring training’s for — to get your timing, get your legs under you.”
Bard looked as if he had his timing for much of the game, before giving way late. He said he welcomed the pressure of knowing his every move was being examined, a likely precursor to what he’ll face later this year.
Nick Blackburn had another solid outing for the Twins, giving up five hits and two runs in five innings. The veteran sinkerballer has a 2.12 ERA through 17 innings this spring.
With Scott Baker slow to recover from elbow tendinitis that sidelined him part of the month, Blackburn could be poised to move into Baker’s slot as the starter in the Twins’ home opener against the Angels on April 9.
Revere, Parmalee lead Twins over Jays
DUNEDIN, Fla. — Ben Revere followed Aaron Hicks’ fifth-inning double with a triple, and a Minnesota Twins split squad beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 on Friday.
Chris Parmalee homered in the sixth off Blue Jays starter Aaron Laffey.
Liam Hendriks, a candidate to open the season in the Twins’ starting rotation, held Toronto to one hit over five innings.