Bard Officially Back In Bullpen

BOSTON (CBS) – Daniel Bard is back in the bullpen, officially.

The Red Sox and Bard both agreed the right-hander should be a reliever Friday afternoon, after the 26-year-old went 4-6 in 10 starts to begin the season.

Bard was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket on June 7 and made one start, allowing three runs in one inning. He has since made four appearances out of the pen, allowing three runs over 6.1 innings while striking out eight.

“After going and doing it a couple of times it felt like I belonged,” Bard said from Pawtucket on Friday, according to ESPNBoston’s Joe McDonald. “It felt like that was what I was meant to do is pitch late in games. My skill set and my experience is built for that type of role.

“I know I can be a good starter, but I already know I’m a great reliever,” he said. “Maybe that’s what I was meant to do, and I’ll try to embrace it from here on out.”

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Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington confirmed the experiment was coming to an end at Fenway Park before Boston opened a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves.

“We felt at this point in the season putting Daniel back in the pen gives him the best chance to impact our team the most for 2012,” said Cherington. “He’s committed to returning to a role that he’s been exceptional in at the big league level.”

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Prior to this season, Bard pitched 197 innings in relief with 213 strikeouts and a 2.88 ERA.

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