FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox are gradually stretching Daniel Bard into the starting role.
Bard took that first step on Thursday, pitching the second inning of the team's "B" game against the Twins in relief of Alfredo Aceves at Hammond Stadium. Bard surrendered two hits and one run while fanning one batter in his one inning of work.
"It's good to get the first one out of the way, get those nerves with the hitters in the box," Bard said. "I felt like I make some good pitches, tried some things I probably wouldn't try in a normal game setting, like a right-on-right changeup there where [Brian Dozier] ended up hitting a double. This is the time to work on stuff."
After surrendering the double to Dozier, Bard yielded an RBI single to J.R. Towles. But all in all, Bard returned to the dugout optimistic after tossing 25 pitches and 15 of them went for strikes.
The line was relatively similar for Alfredo Aceves. The 29-year-old, who started against the Twins, also tossed one inning, allowing three hits and one run while notching a strikeout.
On the heels of the outing, Aceves reiterated his desire to start.
"It all depends on the results I think," Aceves said. "Personal opinion, I like more to start. I’m kind of eating innings. But right now, we’re working on getting back on track like I was last year."
Aceves threw 26 pitches with 17 going for strikes.