FORT MYERS, Fla. — Andrew Bailey will ultimately be judged on what he does from April through October, but the beginning of his journey in March got off to a rocky start.
The Red Sox’ newest closer was shaky in his spring debut, but he was able to navigate out of trouble to minimize the damage.
Bailey gave up an Omar Infante leadoff double off the Green Monster to start the fifth inning, followed up by a single from Austin Kearns. Aaron Rowand made it three straight hits with an RBI single, and Bailey made matters worse with a wild pitch to the next batter, Chris Coghlan.
LISTEN: Bailey discusses outing
However, Bailey was able to stop the bleeding. He got Coghlan to pop out in the infield, induced a comebacker to the mound from Terry Tiffee (retiring Kearns in a rundown), and got Matt Dominguez to ground out to end the inning.
“I obviously have some things to work on,” Bailey said afterward. “That’s why we start with spring training.”
Bailey’s final line was three hits and one earned run in one inning of work.
It was a rare run for Bailey, who had allowed just two earned runs in his 21.1 spring innings for a 0.84 ERA from 2009-11.
Bailey’s predecessor in Boston, Jonathan Papelbon, had a similarly difficult outing on Sunday, as he surrendered a run on two hits and a walk against the Tigers.