One step forward, two walks back for Bard

BOSTON -- Red Sox right-hander Daniel Bard threw nine pitches Saturday night in his second game with the Red Sox. Just one was a strike.

So goes the latest chapter for Bard, whose ride from shutdown reliever to wayward starter to bullpen hopeful may have cast some doubt on his immediate future. At least those in the clubhouse are not concerned.

"Nothing he can't fix too easily," said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who had to come out of his crouch to catch one of Bard's off-target deliveries.

Bard, whose 2012 experiment as a starter turned into a disaster that had a carry-over effect into his return to the bullpen, was showing some progress at Double-A Portland and had a scoreless outing against Houston on Friday in his return to Fenway Park.

However, he walked Ronny Cedeno on four pitches and then Carlos Pena on five before John Farrell came to get him. Bard, who always carries with him a calm demeanor, slammed his glove on his leg as he departed for the dugout. Farrell gave him a pat on the back and then was matter-of-fact in a postgame commentary.

"Right from the get-go Daniel didn't settle into a delivery," Farrell said. "We saw him cut a couple of fastballs on the first few pitches he threw and then some pitches got away from him."

Both Joel Hanrahan and Craig Breslow are close to returning to the bullpen from rehab stints, which makes Bard a candidate for more work in the minors in the very near future.