Aceves on blown save: It was the team's loss

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Aceves on blown save: It was the team's loss

BOSTON -- Perhaps it should have never come down to this.
But even after taking a 6-0 lead through the first two innings on Thursday night at Fenway Park, it came down to Alfredo Aceves trying to hold onto an 11-9 Red Sox lead over the Los Angeles Angels.
And he just couldn't do it.
The Red Sox broke a 9-9 tie in the bottom of the eighth, and after recording the first out in the top of the ninth, Aceves allowed a solo home run to Vernon Wells. The replays showed that it should have never been a home run, as it hit the top of the red line and bounced back onto the field.
Everybody on the Red Sox thought it was a home run, until the media told them otherwise after the game.
But it wouldn't have mattered, as two batters later, Mike Trout's two-out bloop single into right field was badly misplayed by Cody Ross, advancing Trout to second on what should have been nothing more than a single.
Even if Wells' home run was reviewed and then overturned, he would have scored on Trout's hit. And even after Trout's hit, Aceves still had a chance -- with two outs and an 11-10 lead -- to end the game.
But Torii Hunter made the Red Sox pay for Ross' miscue in right field, and ripped a liner to left field, which scored the tying run in Trout, on a close play at the plate.
And it wasn't over.
Aceves then walked Howard Kendrick, and then allowed a Mark Trumbo RBI single up the middle that scored Hunter to give the Angels a 12-11 lead.
Ross tied the game with a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the ninth, and yet, there was Aceves, coming back out to pitch the top of the 10th in a 12-12 ball game, after giving up three runs in the top of the ninth and blowing his seventh save of the season.
"He's our closer," said Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. "You've got to stay strong with him. We battled back and came back and scored some runs. So, you know, you've got to have confidence in your closer."
"Well it was basically the same as Angels manager Mike Scioscia did, you know, he's our closer and he gives up a lead," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "I had two left-handers in the bullpen, and they had a right-handed lineup. I had three innings left, and I wanted to squeeze another inning out of him. It obviously was the wrong decision."
Kendrys Morales led off the inning by putting an Aceves fastball in the right-field seats, giving the Angels a 13-12 lead. And in the next at-bat, Erick Aybar singled to right field, ending Aceves' night.
Craig Breslow came in to relieve him, but Wells welcomed him into the game by driving a double down the left-field line that scored Aybar from first to put the Angels up 14-12.
The Red Sox would score one in the bottom of there 10th, but it ended up being too much to overcome, and Aceves picked up his eighth loss of the season.
Still, after the game, Aceves wasn't going to blame it all on himself.
"I missed a couple of pitches, ya, obvious," said Aceves. "It's not about that. We lost the game. There were like 25 runs. So it's not that I pitched one pitch, and that we would lose because of that, no. It was the entire game, the entire game.
"It's not about me me, it's not about me," he later added when asked how he would bounce back from this. "I mean, we've been playing expletive, expletive baseball."
He's right about that. And perhaps he's also right about the entire game not being his fault. Because it probably should have never come down to him.

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Pablo Sandoval hit his fourth home run of the spring and Rusney Castillo had three hits to lead a Red Sox split squad to a 7-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday in Port Charlotte, Fla. 

Sandoval, who has won back his third base job after missing nearly all of last season following surgery on his left shoulder, connected for a three-run shot, batting right-handed, against Rays starter Ian Snell in the fifth inning. The switch-hitting Sandoval had abandoned hitting right-handed in 2015, his last full season with the Red Sox.

He's hitting .353 this spring with a 1.051 OPS and 19 RBI.

Castillo, the Cuban outfielder signed to a seven-year, $72 million deal late in 2014 but again likely headed for Triple-A Pawtucket, went 3-for-4 and is hitting .368 this spring. Catcher Blake Swihart, also probably Pawtucket-bound, had two hits and is hitting .325.


 

Another strong start for Kendrick in Red Sox split squad's 3-3 tie with Phillies

Another strong start for Kendrick in Red Sox split squad's 3-3 tie with Phillies

Kyle Kendrick strengthened his bid for a spot in the rotation by allowing two runs in six innings and striking out six and Jackie Bradley homered as a Red Sox split squad played to a 3-3 tie with the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Kendrick, 32, a non-roster invitee to spring training, allowed eight hits and a walk in his sixth start this spring. He's been the Red Sox best starter with an ERA of 2.17. 

With David Price out until May and lefty Drew Pomeranz still a question mark, Kendrick could find his way into the rotation behind Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez.

Bradley went 2-for-3 with his third homer of the spring. He's hitting .244 in spring training games. 

The Phillies pushed across the tying run in the ninth off lefty reliever Robby Scott, the first run he's allowed this spring in 10 innings. 

The Minnesota Twins host the Red Sox on Sunday at 1:05 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.