Game Day Notes: Aceves sharp in scoreless outing

Game Day Notes: Aceves sharp in scoreless outing
March 22, 2013, 6:45 pm
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DUNEDIN, Fla. – Starting in place of Jon Lester, who opted to start a minor league game at the Red Sox complex, Alfredo Aceves went five scoreless innings against the Blue Jays Friday afternoon, giving up two hits and two walks with five strikeouts and a balk. He threw 73 pitches, 44 for strikes.
 
Aceves was not involved in the decision, as the Red Sox lost, 1-0.
 
The only real jam Aceves had was in the third when he had runners on first and third with two outs. But he got Melky Cabrera to fly out to Jackie Bradley in center, ending the inning.
 
Jose De La Torre followed Aceves to the mound, going two scoreless innings giving up a walk with two strikeouts. It was De La Torre’s first appearance in a Grapefruit League since March 2 after being out of camp to participate in the World Baseball Classic with Team Puerto Rico.
 
J.D. Durbin, making his second appearance this spring, first since Feb. 25 in Dunedin against the Jays, took the loss allowing an unearned run in the eighth on two hits.
 
Mark DeRosa and Maicer Izturis led off the eighth with singles to left before Munenori Kawasaki flied out to Bradley, who had moved to left in the seventh, in foul territory. With two outs and two on, Kevin Pillar reached on a fielding error by third baseman Drew Sutton, with Bradley sprinting to retrieve the ball down the left field line. Adam Loewen, pinch-running for DeRosa scored. But, Bradley relayed the ball to shortstop Jonathan Diaz, whose throw home cut down pinch-runner Kevin Ahrens for the final out of the inning.
 
“I thought every guy who went to the mound, [Aceves] and De La Torre threw very well,” said manager John Farrell. “I thought the one inning first and third and less than two outs he gets out of it he did a good job controlling the running game. There’s a calmness about him on the mound. Even when he gets into tough situations he shows the ability to make a pitch.”
 
While Aceves’ behavior has raised red flags, it’s his versatility on the mound that keeps him around.
 
“His versatility and durability is invaluable,” Farrell said. “He’s a guy who, if he doesn’t start for a while, you can call him to give you four or five innings without being in a regular rotation. He showed the ability to show his off-speed pitches behind the count against a power lineup. Did a good job.”

-- Pitching in relief for Double-A Portland against the Twins’ affiliate, Daniel Bard went two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on a hit and two walks with two strikeouts and a hit batter. He threw 27 pitches, 14 for strikes.
 
--  Drew Sutton’s error at third base in the eighth inning led to the only run of the game. It was Sutton’s fourth error in 87 innings this spring, all at third base. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, batting .235 this spring.

-- The Sox had more walks, three, than hits, two, in the game. The hits were both doubles – a two-out double by Bradley in the first and a one-out double by Bryce Brentz in the fifth. They struck out a combined eight times.

-- Mike Carp and Lyle Overbay remain in the competition for a bench spot. Overbay, who has an opt-out on March 26, went 0-for-2 with a strikeout and was hit by a pitch. He is batting .229 this spring. Carp went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and is hitting .194.