Third time's a charm for Red Sox' Aceves


Third time's a charm for Red Sox' Aceves

TORONTO -- Before Monday's game, embattled closer Alfredo Aceves wrote manager Bobby Valentine a note, reflecting on trust and confidence in the face of the Red Sox' hard times.

Valentine responded by telling Aceves he would get the ball if a save situation arose, and when it did, after the Red Sox rallied for three runs in the ninth inning, Aceves made sure to make the most of it.

After failing to retire a single one of the five hitters he faced over two brutal outings in Detroit, Aceves turned back the Toronto Blue Jays with ease, retiring all three hitters he faced to record his first save and give the Red Sox their first win of the season, 4-2.

"We stick together," said Aceves. "One of the (important) things is trust. Whatever you want to trust, just trust. I need to keep that in mind I have to trust my stuff. It's the same for everyone."

The Sox rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth inning off Toronto closer Sergio Santos, and Aceves came in for the save opportunity.

He retired Brett Lawrie on a groundout, struck out Eric Thames and got J.P. Arencibia to groundout for the final out.

Aceves thanked Valentine for maintaining confidence in the team even after three tough losses against the Tigers over the weekend.

His teammates maintained their confidence in him even after his stumbles in the first three games.

"Of course," said David Ortiz. "He a great pitcher. He's got great stuff. The first you go in a game, you've got butterflies going through and you want to execute.

"But today, it seemed like he was more patient, taking his time and executed better."

And Aceves was especially grateful to get another chance to close out a win after blowing a ninth-inning lead Sunday at Comerica Park.

"Of course," said Aceves. "Yeah. Every time I get a chance to play, I want to play, man. I stay positive."

"He threw pretty much the same pitches (as he did the last two outings)" said Valentine. "They were all quality -- up in the zone, away in the zone . . . His breaking ball was really good. His fastball was crisp."

Valentine also dryly noted that, as hitting coach Dave Magadan observed, Aceves got something else to go along with his first save: an actual ERA.

When Aceves failed to retire a hitter over his first two appearances, he was left, technically, with an ERA of infinity. Following Monday's win, his ERA is still a bloated 27.00 -- but that beats what it had been.

May 1, 2016: With NHL draft order set, time to deal?


May 1, 2016: With NHL draft order set, time to deal?

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading after thinking Barack Obama gave Jeffrey Ross a run for his money as the Roast-master In Chief at last night’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner.

*The man behind the music at American Airlines Arena for the Dallas Stars’ games comes into the spotlight for a story.


*Don Cherry sings the praises of Joel Ward, wears a Toronto Marlies suit and said “it was time to go” for Bruce Boudreau in Anaheim.


*PHT writer Cam Tucker has Penguins coach Mike Sullivan taking major issue with the head shot Brooks Orpik laid on Olli Maatta.


*The Maple Leafs secure the No. 1 overall pick in last night’s NHL Draft lottery, which will no doubt lead them to Auston Matthews.


*Now that the Edmonton Oilers have the No. 4 pick, Peter Chiarelli is open to trade options for those teams wanting to move up.


*Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is once again thriving in Ontario just a year after a major health scare.


*Good piece by FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Kurz on the unique journey for Brent Burns that culminated in his Norris Trophy finalist honor this week.


*Spector has the roundup of rumors including plenty of speculation on Kevin Shattenkirk once the Blues are done in the playoffs.


*For something completely different: a couple of reporters actually got into an actual fight at the White House Correspondent’s after-party. It sounds like they both kind of deserved a punch in the face, to be honest.

Report: Patriots sign nine undrafted free agents


Report: Patriots sign nine undrafted free agents

The Patriots have reportedly added nine undrafted free agents after selecting nine players in the 2016 NFL Draft.

DJ Foster, RB/WR, Arizona State
Shaquille Powell, RB, Duke
De’Runnya Wilson, TE/WR, Miss State
Steven Scheu, TE, Vanderbilt
Woodrow Hamilton, DT, Mississippi State
CJ Johnson, LB, Mississippi State
V’Angelo Bentley, CB, Illinois
Jonathan Jones, CB, Auburn
Cre’Von LeBlanc, CB, Florida Atlantic

Foster is arguably the highest profile player the Patriots signed and was filmed celebrating the moment.

Foster has the versatility the Patriots looks for. He played running back over his first three collegiate seasons before shifting to wide receiver. He finished his career at Arizona State with 666 total touches for 4,813 yards and 32 touchdowns.

Stay tuned for more…