Andrew Bailey Finds Silver Lining in Shaky Red Sox Debut

by NESN Staff

March 12, 2012

Andrew Bailey Finds Silver Lining in Shaky Red Sox DebutFORT MYERS, Fla. ?? It wasn?t the ideal debut for Andrew Bailey.

Making his first appearance in a Red Sox uniform, the closer surrendered three straight hits ?? to Omar Infante, Austin Kearns and Aaron Rowand ?? and a run in Monday?s 5-3 win over Miami.

Despite the initial struggles, Bailey retired the rest of the batters he faced and found a silver lining from the outing.

"For me, it was kind of cool to have your first outing being that type of a ballgame and for me, kind of act like it was the regular season," Bailey said. "Obviously, I had some things to work on. That?s why we start in spring training. But for me, you never want to give up runs no matter when you pitch."

Bailey started the sixth inning by yielding a leadoff double to Infante, a line-drive hitter that clubbed it off the Green Monster. In the next two at-bats, he allowed Kearns and Rowand to reach base on singles.

Regardless of the performance, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was just satisfied that Bailey was pain-free.

"Andrew was able to go out there, start it and get off the mound," Valentine said. "That?s a big step for him. That?s good. I?d rather have him strike everyone out and miss all the bats but bats happened to find the ball a couple of times today."

Valentine also mentioned he would like to have Bailey stretched out to two innings just as a confidence builder in case those opportunities arise in the regular season.

But on Monday, Bailey?s other focus was to develop a rhythm with Jarrod Saltalamacchia behind the plate. With men threatening on base, Bailey was able to achieve that goal.

"I think that was the biggest thing ?? the communication between me and him," Bailey said. "It?s good that game came down to runners on base. Not every outing is going to be clean. Guys are going to get on base. It was good to be able to work together."

Bailey tossed one inning and was replaced by Ross Ohlendorf, who also made his Red Sox debut.

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