Boston Red Sox

Aceves will not fly with team to California Monday

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Aceves will not fly with team to California Monday

BOSTON Right-hander Alfredo Aceves will not fly with the team when it leaves for its nine-game west coast trip following Mondays homestand finale with the Royals. Aceves was suspended by the Red Sox for three games following Fridays game for conduct detrimental to the team.

I expect him to be in California, though, said manager Bobby Valentine.

Aceves has not been at Fenway Park since his suspension. Valentine expects the right-hander to be ready and available to pitch when the suspension is over, beginning Tuesday.

Hell be ready to pitch, Valentine said. I believe hell be OK to pitch. I would think that hes working out. Hes a workout fanatic. Hes not just sitting around eating popcorn.

But what role Aceves will have remains to be determined, Valentine said. Andrew Bailey will be the closer, if necessary, Monday. Mark Melancon earned his first save of the season on Sunday.

Valentine was not sure but thought he might have suspended players in his past managerial tenures.

I think it might have been over a drug situation a couple of times, before there was a big drug policy, he said. I dont remember.

Asked if he was concerned about any repercussions with Aceves because of the suspension, Valentine replied:

I guess. It just deals with being responsible for your actions and understanding that all actions have consequence. Its just a simple rule. Remember, I dont have a lot of rules, but one of the rules I stated early on is that you dont do anything to embarrass yourself, your teammates or your organization. Thats a rule.

It is highly unusual for a team to suspend its own player. Jim Rice was the last player suspended by the Red Sox. On July 20, 1988, manager Joe Morgan called Rice back from the on-deck circle and had Spike Owen pinch-hit for him. The move enraged Rice, who pulled Morgan into the dugout tunnel where an altercation ensued. Rice was suspended by the team for three games.

Clay Buchholz will start Tuesday in Anaheim, with Jon Lester starting on Thursday. Wednesdays starter is still unknown. But, Valentine said, he does not think it will be left-hander Franklin Morales.

Third baseman Will Middlebrooks will not be on the west coast trip. On the disabled list since Aug. 11 with a right wrist fracture, Middlebrooks has several check-ups scheduled for this week.

Shortstop Jose Iglesias has not been in the starting lineup since being called up on Saturday. He made his season debut that day as a pinch-runner in the ninth inning of the 12-inning loss. He played Friday for Triple-A Pawtucket, after sitting out since Aug. 19, injuring his left leg sliding into home. Valentine was not concerned about keeping the highly valued prospect on the bench.

Hes here to help us win games when needed, Valentine said.

BASEBALL SHOW PODCAST: What are biggest concerns about Red Sox?

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BASEBALL SHOW PODCAST: What are biggest concerns about Red Sox?

1:00 - Shaughnesy, Drellich and Merloni give their leading off impressions regarding the Red Sox

4:00 - Dan Shaughnessy explains why he is still skeptical about the Red Sox team, and why he will not be able to feel confident until he sees them play in the postseason

9:00 - Does our Baseball Show crew have a problem with the Red Sox letting Chris Sale pitch the 8th inning so he could get his 300th strikeout?

15:00 - Jared Carrabis joins the Baseball Show crew to discuss what matches he likes for the Red Sox in the playoffs. 

17:00 - Jared Carrabis on how would the Red Sox match up against the Yankees in the playoffs

20:00 - How does Jared Carrabis think about the use of David Price as a relief pitcher?

Red Sox beat Reds 5-4, reduce A.L. East magic number to three

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Red Sox beat Reds 5-4, reduce A.L. East magic number to three

CINCINNATI -- Mookie Betts wasn't about to stop. Neither are the Red Sox, who are heading home with a chance to win another division title.

Betts doubled with the bases loaded to tie it in the eighth inning and dashed home from second base on an infield single, rallying the Red Sox to a 5-4 victory Sunday that moved them closer to an AL East championship.

By winning 14 of its last 17 games, Boston has left virtually no opening for the second-place New York Yankees to catch up. The Red Sox, already assured a playoff spot, completed an 8-1 road trip that put them in excellent position to win a second consecutive division crown, something they've never done.

Coupled with New York's 9-5 loss in Toronto, the Red Sox reduced their magic number to three. They lead the Yankees by five games with seven to play.

That means Fenway Park can start preparing for a potential celebration. Boston finishes the regular season at home with three games against Toronto and four vs. Houston.

"We're learning a lot about ourselves," said Doug Fister, who pitched into the sixth. "We can put ourselves in a corner early and fight back. If we need a touchdown, the boys can put up a touchdown."

Boston inched closer with more late-game flair. The Red Sox lead the majors with 11 wins when trailing after the seventh inning.

They loaded the bases against Raisel Iglesias (3-3), who had blown only one save chance all season. Betts had fouled a ball off his foot on Friday night and missed one game. His double tied it 5-all, and he sprinted home on the still-sore foot - diving headfirst into the plate - on Rafael Devers' infield single.

"I felt he had a chance to beat it, and with me running it was going to be a tough play at the plate," Betts said.

Robby Scott (2-1) got the win, and Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 35th save in 39 chances. He hasn't allowed a run in his last 11 appearances.

Billy Hamilton helped the Reds go up 4-1. He tripled home a run and brought the crowd to its feet by scoring after getting caught in a rundown between first and second. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia made a wild throw, and Hamilton kept going when nobody covered home.

"In my whole career, that's one of the best ones, especially since I was in a rundown and just trying to get to second base and then I end up scoring," Hamilton said.

GOT THEIR BACKS

Red Sox and Reds players stood for the national anthem. Boston manager John Farrell said if any of his players decide to follow the example of other athletes and make a statement during the anthem, he'll support them. "We strive to create an environment that's inclusive," Farrell said. "We would have their back as an organization if that's the expression they chose. It's their constitutional right."

INTERLEAGUE

The Red Sox are 12-1 against the Reds all-time in the regular season and have won nine straight, their longest winning streak against any NL team since interleague play started in 1997. The Reds beat the Red Sox in seven games for the 1975 World Series championship. Overall, Boston is 16-4 in interleague play this season. The Reds are 5-15.

90 LOSSES AGAIN

The Reds reached the 90-loss mark for the third straight year. They lost 98 games in 2015 and 94 last year. It's the first time they've had three straight 90-loss seasons since 1930-34.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: INF Eduardo Nunez ran the bases before the game, his next step in recovering from a sprained knee.

Reds: Hamilton was back in the lineup after getting a day off. He's played twice since returning from a broken left thumb.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (16-5) faces Blue Jays LHP Brett Anderson (1-2) on Monday night. Pomeranz is 7-1 with a 2.62 ERA in 13 starts since the All-Star break.

Reds: After a day off, they finish with three games in Milwaukee and three at the Chicago Cubs. Deck McGuire (0-0) makes his first major league start Tuesday night against Zach Davies (17-9).

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