The Blue Jays' offense was just too much for the Boston bullpen to handle on Tuesday night, as the combination of Jesse Carlson, Michael Bowden, Doug Mathis and Matt Albers yielded six runs in a total four innings of work.
Daniel Bard struggled out of the gate on the mound, but the lanky lefty finished off strong. Bard retired each of the final eight batters he faced in the outing, including holding home-run champion Jose Bautista to an 0-for-4 night.
In total, Bard tossed 5 innings, giving up three hits and three walks with three earned runs and two strikeouts on the day.
As for the offense, Jacoby Ellsbury looked like a perfect fit for the No. 2 hole early on, sending a pretty double to deep center in the first. But that's all he and the Sox mashers would really contribute on the night, as Boston's top-six hitters — Nick Punto, Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Cody Ross and Ryan Sweeney — went a combined 2-for-18 in the game.
The typically power-absent Kelly Shoppach showed up in a big way for the offense in the game, though. Shoppach's second-inning smash over the left field wall, the mini-monster if you will, accounted for the only offense the Sox could produce all night. The lack of offensive production is a little concerning for this team, but given the Sox ranked first in the MLB in runs scored in 2011 it's unlikely to be a common theme on the year.
The loss was a bit troubling in certain areas, but overall it's still just a Spring outing. However, the loss of left hander Andrew Miller in the game could turn into a much more major concern. The hurler, who was still in contention for a starting role with the club, threw just three pitches in his relief appearance before calling for the training staff due to an apparent hip injury.
Miller wasn't expected to be a vital player on this year's Sox team, but his presence added depth to an already thin starting rotation. If he's out for an extended period of time, in addition to Vicente Padilla's reported hamstring issue, the Sox could be in deep trouble come Opening Day.
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