While he doesn't pay too much attention to his statistics, Barnes (5-4) knows his performance Tuesday merits more than the no-decision he eventually ended up with.
Boston's top pitching prospect allowed one hit while striking out three batters over five scoreless innings in the Class A Advanced Salem Red Sox's 10-9 loss Tuesday to the Winston-Salem Dash.
Barnes departed with a 5-0 lead, but the hosts rallied for three runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth. Trailing headed into the bottom of the ninth, Winston-Salem then tallied five more runs, capped off by Michael Earley's two-out walk-off single.
"If there's one thing I've learned going from college to the Draft, it's that being here is more about how I develop as a player and how I handle certain situations. I'm just getting the feel of pro ball and going out there to give my team a chance to win.
"I think that I'm more upset the team didn't get a win. We've hit a rough patch, but hopefully we can hit a hot streak. I would have liked the team to get the 'W'."
Barnes allowed four baserunners over his five innings of work, two of whom were nullified on defensive plays.
Keenyn Walker's leadoff single in the first inning was erased when he was caught trying to swipe second base, and Juan Silverio -- who drew a one-out walk in the third -- was doubled off first base when Daniel Wagner lined out to Zach Gentile.
In the fifth frame, Barnes issued a free pass to Dan Black, but following batter Cyle Hankerd grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Michael Earley followed with another walk, but he was stranded when Kevan Smith struck out to end the inning.
"It was phenomenal," Barnes said of the defense behind him. "Any time the defense makes plays behind you, it definitely helps you out. When guys are on base, you just want to induce a double play that will help you go further into the game.
"I'm just happy I was able to get back to basics tonight. My fastball wasn't as good as I wanted it to be, but it was good enough."
The outing lowered Barnes' ERA to 3.40, but it was not enough to give him his eighth win of the year across two levels.
After going 2-0 with a 0.34 ERA with Boston's South Atlantic League affiliate in Class A Greenville, the then-21-year-old was assigned to the Class A Advanced Carolina League in early May.
Selected by Boston 19th overall in the 2011 Draft out of the University of Connecticut, Barnes earned victories in five of his first eight starts at the new level. He limited opponents to a .201 batting average while recording a 53:8 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 46 innings.
Since the last of those wins June 14, Barnes has struggled. He entered Tuesday's start with an 0-3 record over his previous eight outings, and he failed to make it to the fifth inning in five of those games. During that time, his ERA rose from 1.37 to 3.62.
"It's been a grind the last month or two," said MLB.com's No. 91 prospect. "My curveball has been kind of loopy and I have been pulling off on my arm side.
"I was coming off a couple outings I wasn't happy with, and [missing a turn in the rotation] helped me hit the reset button. I just had to realize that I was doing what I love and that I needed to regather and finish the season strong."
Barnes, who threw around 65 pitches Tuesday, has gone 108 2/3 innings in his first year of pro ball. He expects to be limited to around 125 innings on the year, similar to his workload in his final year at UConn, where he logged 121 innings over 17 starts.
With those numbers in mind, the Connecticut native does not expect to pitch deeper than the fifth inning in any of his remaining three starts.