FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Daniel Bard is not concerned with the stamina needed to start. He's concentrating on his control.
Bard was hit hard, with Shane Robinson's bases-loaded triple in the eighth inning chasing the Boston pitcher Thursday as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Red Sox 9-6.Bard, trying to convert to a starter after serving as Boston's setup man, allowed seven earned runs in 2 2/3 innings."Physically, I could throw more pitches," Bard said. "Obviously (I) just wasn't in the zone, wasn't throwing strike one. (I) just need to be a little more aggressive early in the count."The Cardinals trailed 6-4 entering the eighth inning but Robinson, a reserve center fielder, cleared the bases with a triple off Bard."I actually felt pretty comfortable because I'd faced Bard all three years of college," said Robinson, who went to Florida State when Bard was at North Carolina. "I was just looking for something I could do some damage with. He gave me a pitch to hit."Boston starter Alfredo Aceves, one of the pitchers Bard is competing with, scattered three hits over four innings and struck out four while allowing just one run.The start was Aceves' first of the spring and he has a 1.00 ERA in nine innings.He allowed three hits in the first two innings before retiring six consecutive batters to conclude his appearance.With rumors swirling about how the Red Sox may use him, Aceves believes he is "valuable" in whatever role Boston chooses for him."The rhythm of the game was a priority for me personally," Aceves said when asked about Thursday's outing. "So far, so good (this spring). I think everything is good."Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said before the game that he wants to see all the fourth and fifth starter candidates throw two more times before making any decisions.Kyle Lohse made the start for the Cardinals and allowed three runs in 3 2/3 innings. He gave up a two-run home run to Darnell McDonald in the fourth.Lohse did not allow a run in his first three innings on the mound. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny indicated Lohse began to tire in the fourth inning."I thought he looked good in the first three (innings)," Matheny said. "When he starts feeling a little bit fatigued, the ball starts coming up for him. . That's kind of something I've seen from him in the past. As we stretch him out, he's going to get stronger and carry that good stuff later in the game."Cardinal right fielder Erik Komatsu had an RBI double to right-center field in the top of the second inning to open the game's scoring.Attempting to score from first on the double, St. Louis' Matt Carpenter collided with Boston shortstop Nick Punto as Carpenter rounded second base. The Cardinals' left fielder, who was knocked to the ground and lost his helmet after the two slammed into each other, was awarded home as interference was called on Punto.Both players were not injured and remained in the game.Dustin Pedroia hit a solo home run in the fourth inning to give the Red Sox a 4-1 lead.St. Louis shortstop Rafael Furcal was 2 for 4 with an RBI while center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was 2 for 3 for the Red Sox.