Aceves, Bard struggle in loss to Rays

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Aceves, Bard struggle in loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- A year ago, the late-inning relief tandem of Alfredo Aceves and Daniel Bard was a source of bullpen strength for the Red Sox.
This year, it's been anything but. And Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, the duo may have bottomed out in the Red Sox' 13-3 drubbing by the Tampa Bay Rays.
Aceves, who had seemingly been in manager Bobby Valentine's doghouse since refusing to hand him the ball on the mound last week against the New York Yankees, was called upon in the fourth inning.
He retired the first three hitters he faced and six of the first seven, but imploded in the sixth. After issuing a leadoff walk in the sixth, he threw wildly on a bunt attempt, setting up baserunners at second and third with no out.
Desmond Jennings then tripled home two runs and scored on an error by Pedro Ciriaco before B.J. Upton followed with a double.
Four hitters faced, four hitters reached, and eventually, scored. Since losing the closer's role to Andrew Bailey in late August, Aceves has appeared in nine games and posted a 9.19 ERA, allowing 19 hits in his last 16 innings.
For the season, his ERA has ballooned to 5.00, almost double that of his 2.66 ERA from 2011.
But if Aceves was bad, Bard, who followed him to the mound in the sixth, was worse.
Showing the almost total lack of command that he battled after being demoted to Pawtucket in early June, Bard faced five hitters, walking three while allowing a sacrifice fly and a run-scoring single.
Since being promoted to the big leagues in Anaheim in late August, Bard has allowed hitters to go 8-for-16 off him with three homers and five walks.
"Daniel's kind of in a Catch-22,'' said Bobby Valentine. "It looks like he needs to pitch more, but we'd him to pitch better for him to pitch more. He waits a long time to get in there and it looks like he's trying too hard.''

Report: Red Sox DH target Beltran agrees to 1-year deal with Astros

Report: Red Sox DH target Beltran agrees to 1-year deal with Astros

Carlos Beltran, the 39-year-old switch hitter who was a potential target of the Red Sox as a DH, agreed to a free-agent deal with the Houston Astros, ESPN's Buster Olney reported.

FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reports that it's a one-year, $16 million deal. 

Beltran played for the Astros in 2004. He was dealt from the New York Yankees to the Texas Rangers at the July 31 trading deadline last season. He totaled 35 homers, 101 RBI and hit .295 in 2016. 

The Red Sox, looking to fill the void left by David Ortiz's retirement, will be looking for a DH at the Winter Meetings that begin next week. One possibility is the return of Mike Napoli, who played for the A.L. champion Cleveland Indians last season.

More on the Winter Meetings here from CSN Red Sox Insider Sean McAdam.