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Bard shows improvement against Phillies

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Red Sox right-hander Daniel Bard, who is on the bubble when it comes to making the team, had a mixed bag in Sunday's performance against the Phillies.

First, the good. All three of Bard's outs in his scoreless inning (with one unearned run) were strikeouts. He also did not walk anyone, unlike Friday's performance in the Minors, when his command was off.

The negative was that Bard still had some inconsistency with his delivery. He gave up two hits, but not on hard contact. There was a bunt and an opposite-field single.

"Better than his last outing," manager John Farrell said. "He's still a work in progress because you see the arm slot early in the first couple of hitters, and it got back up. I thought he attacked the zone well, threw some better fastballs today."

For the first time since 2009, Bard is in the position of fighting for his spot on the team. He hopes it helps him raise his level during these final few days of camp.

Bard enjoyed being able to face Ben Revere, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. He finished his outing striking out Howard.

"I know there's a lot on the line for me personally, and I think having guys in the box who are All-Stars every year kind of makes you bring it up to another level," Bard said. "That's definitely who I would have picked to face -- that part of the lineup. It was fun, and I felt like I was in control. A couple of things, a bunt hit, and Utley hit a good changeup, he just placed it perfect. He's a good hitter. I was really happy with how I threw the ball."

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.
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