Red Sox recall Bard, option Stewart to Pawtucket

BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox today recalled right-handed pitcher Daniel Bard from Triple-A Pawtucket.  The club also announced that right-handed pitcher Zach Stewart was optioned to Pawtucket following last night’s game.  Bard will be active for tonight’s game against the Angels in Anaheim.

The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington.

The 27-year-old Bard returns for his second stint with the Red Sox this year after appearing in 11 games with Boston to begin the season, including his first 10 career starts.  Prior to 2012, each of his first 192 Major League games came out of the bullpen, and he set Red Sox single-season records for holds while leading the American League in both 2010 (32) and 2011 (tied, 34).  Over his first three Big League campaigns from 2009-12, he topped AL relievers with 79 holds, ranked fourth among that group in strikeouts (213), sixth in opponent average (.190) and 13th in ERA (2.88).  With Boston this year he was 5-6 with a 5.24 ERA (32 ER/55.0 IP) and 34 strikeouts before being optioned to the PawSox on June 5, where he fanned 32 batters in 32.0 innings over 31 appearances, including his last 30 in relief.  The right-hander held opponents scoreless in 10 of his last 15 games dating back to July 19 and went 3-2 with a .254 opponent average (31-for-122) and a 7.03 ERA (25 ER) overall in Triple-A.  In 203 career Major League games, all with Boston, Bard owns a 10-19 record with five saves, a 3.39 ERA (95 ER/252.0 IP) and 247 strikeouts compared to 113 walks and just 184 hits allowed.

Stewart, 25, was recalled from Pawtucket prior to last night’s game at Angel Stadium and started for Boston, taking the loss in his Red Sox debut.  In 11 starts for the PawSox this year, he is 3-5 with a 3.94 ERA (26 ER/59.1 IP) and 42 strikeouts compared to 14 walks.  The right-hander began the season with 18 games (1 start) for the White Sox and has pitched in 32 career Major League games (13 starts) for the Blue Jays (2011), White Sox (2011-12) and Red Sox (2012), posting a 3-6 record with a 6.55 ERA (73 ER/100.1 IP), 63 strikeouts and 22 walks.  He was originally selected by the Reds in the third round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.