TORONTO – Daniel Bard the starter isn’t acting or pitching like Daniel Bard the reliever, and the results aren’t pretty.

Jose Bautista hit a three-run homer, rookie Drew Hutchison won for the fourth time in five starts and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Bard and the Boston Red Sox 5-1 Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.

The Blue Jays took advantage of an erratic performance by Bard (5-6), who allowed five runs, walked six, struck out two and hit two batters in 12/3 innings, his shortest career start.

“Daniel just couldn’t find it, obviously,” Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine said. “He was hoping he was going to find a pitch or find a release point that would work for him.”

In an ill-tempered game that featured four hit batters, home plate umpire Mike Winters warned both benches after Boston’s Kevin Youkilis was drilled on the shoulder in the sixth. Youkilis stepped in front of the plate and yelled at Hutchison, but the situation did not escalate.

Youkilis did not speak to reporters following the game, but his manager denied talk of retaliation or bad blood.


“I didn’t think any of them were intentional,” Valentine said.

Still, even Valentine felt the need to go to his bullpen in the second inning after Bard hit two batters in three at-bats.

“The last thing I wanted to do was see anybody get hurt,” Valentine said.

Toronto designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion, one of two Blue Jays hit on the hand in the second, stayed in the game to run but did not bat again when his turn came up in the fifth.

X-rays on Encarnacion’s hand were negative. He was listed as day-to-day with a bruise.

Bard, who has lost four straight decisions to Toronto, acknowledged that he’s not the same pitcher as a starter as he was as a reliever the past three years, saying he’s “constantly trying to tweak little things in (my) delivery to make the next pitch a little better than the last.”


“The ability to repeat just isn’t there like it has been in the past,” Bard said. “If anything, it’s that I allowed something to happen when I switched roles. Maybe we just tried to turn me into a starter rather than just take the same pitcher I was out there and move that guy to the rotation, which is probably what should have been done.”

Bard walked the first two batters before Bautista hit a homer off the facing of the second deck in left, his 14th of the season and second in two days.

Things weren’t much better for Bard in the second, which began with back-to-back walks, followed by consecutive strikeouts. Yunel Escobar was hit on the hand to load the bases for Bautista, who drove in a run with a walk. That brought up Encarnacion, who drove in a run the painful way.

Just 24 of Bard’s 55 pitches were for strikes, and his ERA rose from 4.56 to 5.24.

“The first couple of innings was tough,” Valentine said, adding that he’ll consider how to proceed with Bard during today’s off day.

“I have some time,” Valentine said. “Regretfully, it’s going to have to take up an off day, but I’ll think about it a while.”


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