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Daniel Bard, Ryan Dempster continue to offer optimism for Red Sox

03.14.13 at 6:26 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — For a third straight appearance, Daniel Bard came away with some encouragement.

This time — making a one-inning appearance in the sixth in what turned out to be a 7-3 Red Sox win over the Twins at Hammond Stadium Thursday afternoon — Bard was forced to fight his way out of somewhat of a jam. The righty allowed a leadoff walk to Chris Parmelee before Joe Benson placed a single to right.

Bard came back, however, and Oswaldo Arcia on three straight pitches, and then got an Eric Fryer fly out and Pedro Florimon ground out to end his frame.

“It’s day-to-day, working through getting a feel for the mechanics, trying to iron out the things that aren’t quite right,” said Bard, whose fastball sat at 95-96 mph. “It’s been nice to be able to go out there and feel comfortable on the mound again. I didn’t have that feeling most of the second half last year. Just being comfortable and really feeling like I’m in control on the mound has been great. Look forward to keep doing it for a long time.”

The pitcher has now gone five spring training outings (including his stint against Northeastern) without allowing a run, having struck out nine and walked a pair.

“He regrouped, kept the damage to a minimum,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “The one thing you might say, the 3-2 pitch he ended up going to a breaking ball to walk a guy when he was throwing a good fastball. That’s part of spring training getting the mind in shape as much as the body. That’s three solid ones in a row from him.”

- Ryan Dempster also continued his momentum, allowing one run on three hits over four innings. He has now allowed three runs in his four spring training starts, encompassing 12 2/3 innings.

“My arm feels good,” Dempster said. “It’€™s responding really well. Next time out a little bit more and just keep building toward the regular season.”

- Will Middlebrooks was the star offensive player for the Red Sox in the win, ripping a three-run double in the fourth inning. The fly ball just missed clearing the left field fence. Jacoby Ellsbury also came away with a pair of hits and runs.

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