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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Daniel Bard Out-Duels Reigning Cy Young Winner

BOSTON, MA - MAY 29:  Daniel Bard #51 of the B...
BOSTON, MA - MAY 29: Daniel Bard #51 of the Boston Red Sox throws against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park May 29, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
The mystery behind Daniel Bard's lost velocity and lack of control has been a bit concerning to say the least, but on Tuesday night against the Tigers, the first year starter looked more like the pitcher he knows he can be in the Red Sox 6-3 win that lifted the team over .500 at Fenway Park.

Facing Justin Verlander, it was easy to assume that the Sox would go to bed Tuesday night wondering how they will ever assemble a winning record in this up and down 2012 season, but Bard's solid pitching allowed the offense to get to the reigning Cy Young Award Winner for 5 ER in 6 IP.

Bard went just 5 1/3 innings but there were encouraging signs from the former setup reliever in the 5 H, 2 ER outing. According to, the righty hit 94 mph 15 times compared to just 3 times in his last outing and he walked just 2, the least he's allowed a free pass to since his first start in the month of May.

He did allow a season high two homeruns, one to Prince Fielder and another to Jhonny Peralta but both were solo shots and the Red Sox one-upped them with 5 ER off Justin Verlander.

After Verlander allowed three singles Daniel Nava stepped up with two outs in the fourth and continued his strong production at the plate with a bases clearing double to give the Red Sox a commanding 4-0 lead. The outfielder was again batting in the leadoff spot and he now has a .911 OPS with 2 HR and 15 RBI on the season.

David Ortiz continued his success at the plate as well with an RBI double in the fifth that he was thrown out trying to go to third on and a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth. He finished the night 3-4 with 2 RBI, 2 runs scored and he's batting .319 on the season.

Getting over the hump could be the biggest momentum builder for the Red Sox this season. We saw what they did in 2011 once they reached the milestone and hopefully they can repeat this year. First things first though, the Sox will send Jon Lester to the hill tonight looking for a sweep of the, once pegged, best team in the American League.

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