Aceves healthy, open to any role for the Red Sox

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Aceves healthy, open to any role for the Red Sox

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. Alfredo Aceves isnt interested in talking about why the Yankees chose not to bring him back this season. Thats in the past, he says. But credit a strained lower back, which kept him on the disabled list from May 12 on last season, and an offseason bicycle accident for helping to get him to the Red Sox.

The Yankees were concerned he wouldnt be healthy. After making his first Opening Day roster in 2010, he threw 12 innings over 10 appearances with a 3.00 ERA and one save before hitting the DL. Aceves, who turned 29 in December, attempted a rehab assignment with Triple-A ScrantonWilkes-Barre and Double-A Trenton starting Aug. 10, making seven appearances, five starts, before being shut down Aug. 30 for the rest of the season.

Aceves says his back is fine. And his left non-throwing collarbone, broken in the late November bike accident, is good, too.

For that, he credits Juan, un buen Samaritano, in San Luis, Sonora, Mexico, his hometown.

Biking is not easy and Im not a professional biker, he said. I was training a couple of days and then the sixth day, I went off the road. It was so small, so narrow, and it was downhill on the sides. There was earth and pavement. I hit the pavement. With the speed I was pedaling, I went off the road. I had my feet on the pedals because I was clicked in with the special shoes and I couldnt get them off, and my hands were gripping the handlebars. But I just hit the pavement, with the weight and the speed and gravity. I was by myself, four kilometers about 2.4 miles from the town, because it was a road out of town, a little circuit.

Aceves didnt realize immediately the bone was broken.

No, I felt it in my shoulder and my elbow, he said. But it wasnt there. I was just feeling it there. And I lifted my arm up above my head, and then to the sides, and then down, and I thought everything was good. But then I touched it and I could feel the bone sticking up through my clothes. But, it wasnt through my skin.

So I got back to the road, I walked about 60 steps, and start to thumb, and someone stopped after a few cars. Juan, he drove me to the hospital. I put my bike in his truck.

I said, Hey, man, thank you. I have to go to the hospital, to the emergency.

Aceves had surgery in New York in November to repair the break, and the shoulder feels fine now, he said, stronger. His back feels good, too. He doesnt think about it.

While he would prefer to start, he knows what his role would be with the Red Sox.

Long reliever and some starts, he said. I want to start, but I have a possibility to win a World Series this year. We got left fielder Carl Crawford, a very talented guy, humble guy, very good person. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez, nice friend, and he inspires me.

Asked how hed pitch each of the Sox newcomers, Aceves laughed.

Gonzalez, he hit me for a homer in the Mexican Pacific League, with Mazatlan, Los Venados, 'the Deers' in English, the Deers of Mazatlan, he said. And ours was the Tomato Pickers of Culiacan. I pitched against him, I struck him out once, I think. I think he hit the home run first and then I struck him out. And Crawford he got me one time, but not a homer.

Actually, hes gotten the best of Crawford in the major leagues, facing him three times and striking him out each time.

Aceves is impressed with the potential of the Sox pen.

Woo, its a tough bullpen, he said. I like it. We could shut down teams. And we have different types of pitchers. I just want to help the team.

I can throw whatever. I have the preference to start, but I can pitch whatever.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

Brian Johnson: 'Awesome feeling' after five-hitter vs. Mariners

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Brian Johnson: 'Awesome feeling' after five-hitter vs. Mariners

BOSTON - Brian Johnson had quite a turnaround in his second time on Fenway Park's mound.

Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

The 26-year-old left-hander became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

"The last time I walked off the mound here was 2012 and I made two pitches," Johnson said. "Today I went nine innings. Today was pretty cool."

Johnson left Triple-A for a little over a month last season to get treatment for an anxiety issue.

"Obviously with some stuff that I've been gone through in my career, it's an awesome feeling" he said.

But despite the stellar outing, Johnson was optioned back to Triple-A after the game.

"That's the reality of the game," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We had a chance to congratulate him and yet option him back to Pawtucket, with David Price coming here Monday."

Brought up from the minors for the start, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. His only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

"Their guy threw the ball over the plate. He threw strikes," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "I won't take anything away from what he did, but we're not swinging the bat very well."

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.

Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

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Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

BOSTON - Brian Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway Park, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

Brought up from Triple-A Pawtucket, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. The 26-year-old left-hander's only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: RHPs Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez, both on the DL with right shoulder inflammation, threw bullpen sessions. Hernandez said he "felt really good."... LHP James Paxton (strained forearm) is set to come off the DL and pitch at home Wednesday.

Red Sox: Pedroia was back at second base after getting Friday off to rest his sore left knee and not play on a wet field. He was hit by a pitch on the right forearm his first time up and went 1 for 3. ... 3B Pablo Sandoval, on the DL with a sprained right knee, was expected to play nine innings Saturday night in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. Manager John Farrell didn't rule out that he could be activated next week.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Christian Bergman (1-2, 6.30 ERA) gave up 10 runs and 14 hits over four innings in a 10-1 loss Tuesday at Washington.

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (3-4, 4.35) has gone at least six innings in eight of nine starts.