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03/10/2012 - 11:18pm
Aceves, Bard shine against Rays

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After Daniel Bard turned in three shutout innings, Alfredo Aceves followed suit with three scoreless innings of his own, allowing just two hits while striking out two, as the Red Sox shut out the Rays, 5-0. In his last two outings, Aceves has retired 15 of the 17 men he's faced.

While Bard is a presumed frontrunner for the rotation, Aceves has pitched as well as any candidate for the last two spots in the rotation. On Saturday, he mixed fastball, curves, cutters and his changeup while throwing an efficient 40 pitches, 29 for strikes.

While Aceves carried enormous value last year in the bullpen last year, pitching coach Bob McClure offered an interesting perspective on the role in which a pitcher's value can be greatest.

"He’s someone we have to  eally seriously look at as a possible guy in that starting rotation," said McClure. "To me, you win with starting pitching. Is it nice to have a...

03/10/2012 - 9:21pm
Bard has longest outing in five years

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In his longest outing since 2007, Daniel Bard tossed three shutout innings against the Rays on Saturday night. He allowed two hits and walked two while striking out one.

Of his nine outs, five came via groundballs as he worked his fastball away to right-handers. He also got swings and misses on his fastball, slider and changeup, with the change (which Bard estimated he threw approximately a dozen times) representing a particular point of emphasis.

"I got a lot of strikes with it. Got that first swing [and miss] to [B.J. Upton] right-on-right. Can’t ask for anything better than that," said Bard. "I threw some other good ones as well. Foul balls, called strike on one, and most of my misses on it were down, which is where you want to be with it. Even a miss down with a changeup, in my opinion, it sets up the next fastball you throw. It makes it look that much harder. As long as I’m down in the zone with...

03/10/2012 - 7:39pm
McClure: 'Hard to tell' Daisuke ever injured

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, now nine months removed from Tommy John surgery, threw a 40-pitch side session on Saturday in which he mixed sliders into his repertoire for the first time since the procedure. After the session, Sox pitching coach Bob McClure suggested that Matsuzaka is progressing extremely well in his rehab, to the point where he looked like a pitcher who never required surgery.

"As far as from what I’m seeing from a health standpoint, it was hard to tell he was ever even hurt from the way he’s throwing the baseball right now," said McClure. "That doesn’t mean he’s ready, by no means. I’m just saying it’s free and easy, it’s coming out of his hand really good. It’s clean, it looks sharp. Looks like he’s on schedule."

McClure said that there is no timetable for Matsuzaka's rehab. However, the pitching coach said that once Matsuzaka...

03/10/2012 - 4:34pm
UMass bows out in A-10 semifinals

Demitrius Conger amassed 22 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, and St. Bonaventure held off a furious UMass rally in the final three minutes for an 84-80 victory Saturday in the semifinals of the Atlantic-10 tournament in Atlantic City, N.J.

Terrell Vinson scored 20 points and Maxie Esho had 16 for eight-seeded UMass (22-11), which was coming off an upset of top-seeded Temple one day earlier.

The Minutemen trailed by 10 points with three minutes left before embarking on a 9-1 run, culminating with a Raphiael Putney layup with 1:38 left that made it a two-point game, 77-75.

It was a one-point game, 81-80, after Chaz Williams stole the ball, was fouled and hit two free throws with 16 seconds left. Two seconds later, St. Bonaventure's Charlon Kloof made 1-of-2 free throws.

With a chance for UMass to take the lead, Putney missed a 3-pointer with five seconds left. St. Bonaventure's Matthew Wright ended the scoring two late free...

03/10/2012 - 4:31pm
B's comeback bid falls short vs. Caps
By: DJ Bean

The Bruins came just short in their comeback bid Saturday, falling by a 4-3 score to the Capitals at TD Garden. 

With the team trailing by two, Johnny Boychuk buried a rebound with just over three minutes in regulation to make it a one-goal game, but it wasn't enough to bring the B's back. 

The Capitals got two goals within a 25-second span, as Alexander Semin and Matt Hendricks scored at 7:50 and 8:15 of the first period, respectively. Milan Lucic brought the Bruins within one with less than six seconds remaining in the first period, and Brad Marchand tied the game with an unassisted goal 4:58 into the second period. Jay Beagle broke the 2-2 tie 11:22 into the second period, and Brooks Laich provided insurance with a power-play goal just over six minutes later. 

Benoit Pouliot was a last-second scratch for the B's, resulting in the team having to dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Lane MacDermid was moved up to the third...

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