- Scott Barboza, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOSTON -- It had been a while since Andrew Bailey last saw the mound for the Boston Red Sox. Before his seventh-inning appearance in Thursday's 8-2 win over the San Diego Padres, the last time the former Red Sox closer got in a game was nearly a week ago.
Adjusting to a new role in middle relief, Bailey turned in his first 1-2-3 inning Thursday since April 24, when he earned his fifth save of the season with a perfect ninth while striking out the side against his old Oakland Athletics.
On the Fourth of July, Bailey struck out the first two hitters he faced en route to a 1-2-3 inning. He also worked on fitting in a full array of pitches.
"I threw a curveball, splitter," Bailey said. "We've been working on my cutter to make it a little bit more sharp, not more like a slider. So I was able to do that today and execute all pitches."
Bailey reiterated his commitment to regaining the closer's role, which has been filled by Koji Uehara in recent circumstances. He was tagged with his fifth blown save of the season after allowing a game-tying home run in his last appearance Friday against Toronto.
"The ups and downs of this game, [you] can't get too high with the high, can't get too low with the lows," Bailey said.
He added that nothing mechanical is off-kilter, just that he needs to keep pitching aggressively.
"For me, it's just going out there and challenging hitters and today was a good day for me," Bailey said. "It was nice to have a clean inning."