ANAHEIM -- On another night, Bobby Valentine might have had other options to get the final six outs of a game in which the Red Sox led by a run.
But Tuesday night, according to the manager, there weren't many -- if any alternatives -- to Alfredo Aceves.
The choice proved ill-fated when, after retiring the side in order in the eighth, Aceves allowed two runs in the bottom of the ninth, costing the Sox their lead and the game, a 6-5 walkoff loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
"There wasn't much choice," said Valentine. "I don't know what else I could have done."
Valentine then looked at an index card that details relievers' recent workloads and read the information.
"(Andrew) Bailey wasn't pitching (after pitching four times in the last five games)," said Valentine. "(Vicente) Padilla's pitched four of the last five games. (Mark) Melancon's pitched four out of six. There really wasn't anybody tonight except maybe (Junichi) Tazawa, who still needed an extra day.
"I don't think the (Angels) matched up with (lefty Andrew) Miller. (Clayton) Mortensen pitched in three of five days and warmed up the other days twice."
Aceves, who rejoined the team Tuesday following a three-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team, got the first out in the ninth, then hit Erick Aybar on the knee and walked pinch-hitter Alberto Callaspo, batting ninth.
With two on and one out, Aceves got ahead of Mike Trout with two straight inside fastballs. He then tried a third, only to have Trout muscle a broken-bat single up the middle, scoring Aybar with the tying run as Callaspo took third.
"We've been showing him a lot of (pitches) away," said catcher Ryan Lavarnway of Trout, "both this series and the last series. We thought we could beat him up-and-in with the heater. We broke his bat, shattered it, but he's a strong kid. He got it out of the infield just enough."
"It's tough," said Clay Buchholz, who was in position to claim the win. "You never want to lose a game in the bottom of the ninth. But it happens every day."
For Aceves, who declined to speak with reporters after the game, it was his eighth blown save and ninth loss of the season.