Aceves' strong start helps Sox hold off Rays

Aceves' strong start helps Sox hold off Rays
June 12, 2013, 10:45 pm
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- For the second time in the last two weeks, Alfredo Aceves answered the call from the Red Sox, stepping
in from the minor leagues for a spot start and limiting the opponent to a single run over six innings.
Aceves, who held the Phillies to a solo run on May 25, did the  same to the Tampa Bay Rays, then got three innings of scoreless relief
from his bullpen as the Sox held off the Rays, 2-1.
The victory improved the Red Sox to 7-2 against Tampa Bay this season.
The only runs of the for the Red Sox came in the third when, following a two-out single and stolen base by Jacoby Ellsbury, Daniel
Nava hammered a pitch from Tampa starter Chris Archer into the seats in right.
It was Nava's 10th homer of the season -- second on the team to David Ortiz -- and gave him 20 RBI in his last 25 games.
The Boston bullpen was superb. Junichi Tazawa struck out two in a scoreless seventh while Craig Breslow fanned the first two hitters he
faced in the eighth before allowing a double to Kelly Johnson.
But with potential tying run on second, Koji Uehara used three split-finger fastballs to strike out Evan Longoria and end the threat.

Andrew Bailey, who blew the save in Monday's 14-inning win, allowed a leadoff single in the ninth but recorded his first save since
May 25.

STAR OF THE GAME: Alfredo Aceves
For the second time in the last 2 1/2 weeks, Aceves stepped in for a spot start and allowed just a run in six innings. That's
quite a comeback from a month or so ago, when Aceves was banished to the minor leagues for poor performance and an even worse attitude
Nava staged an epic nine-pitch at-bat against Tampa Bay starter Chris Archer before drilling a pitch deep into the right-field seats
for a two-run homer. That was the extent of the offense for the Sox. Nava has 44 RBI, a career high -- and it's only mid-June.

The Rays' DH was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. He stranded two runners in the second, then fanned with the potential tying run
in scoring position in the ninth.

TURNING POINT: In the eighth, Kelly Johnson doubled off Craig Breslow and the Sox brought Koji Uehara in to face Evan Longoria with the potential tying run in scoring position. But Uehara dispatched Longoria with three straight spliters, the last of which was in the

BY THE NUMBERS: The victory gave the Red Sox the series win and boosted their road record 20-12, the best in the American League.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "The strike-throwing ability of the guys in the bullpen really came through tonight.'' --John Farrell on Red Sox relievers who recorded seven of the nine outs they got on strikeouts.