Tuesday April 23, 2013 | 11:02 PM

PORTLAND — Daniel Bard began receiving hugs and handshakes soon after he exited manager Kevin Boles’ office Tuesday night, following the Portland Sea Dogs 9-8 win over Binghamton.
Bard learned he was getting called back up to the Boston Red Sox. It appears he will take the place of Steven Wright, who was optioned back to Pawtucket after Boston’s game Tuesday.

Bard, 27, was sent to Portland after spring training to work on his mechanics. Once one of the major league’s top set-up relievers, Bard is trying to rebound from a disastrous 2012, when he was used as both a starter and reliever, with little success (6.22 ERA).

He entered spring training strictly as a reliever, and the rebound was underway. In Portland, he continued his comeback under Sea Dogs pitching coach Bob Kipper.

“Just been simplifying everything,” Bard said Tuesday night. “I think I’ve made some good strides through spring training and this was a chance to build on what we did.

“There was no better guy to do it with than Kip. He’s got a simple message. He preaches a simple delivery and a simply approach. It’s what I’ve been successful with in the past and it’s what I got locked into here the last few weeks.”

Bard allowed four runs on three hits and a walk over his first three appearance. In his last five outings (six innings), he has allowed five hits, three walks and no runs. He has struck out three.

Bard pitched one inning Tuesday night, giving up one single. He thew 10 pitches, eight for strikes.

In 2010, Bard had a 1.93 ERA in 73 games for Boston. In 2011, he set a Red Sox record with 25 scoreless outings.

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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