What's up with Aceves?

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What's up with Aceves?

Well, Jarrod Saltalamacchia sure has a knack for coming up big when no one's paying attention.

First, there was his walk off against Tampa Bay over Memorial Day Weekend in the shadow of the Celtics' Game 7 win against the Sixers. Then again last night, in the bottom of the ninth, while the world was being shocked by the C's, Salty hopped back on his heroic horse and drove a two-out, two-strike pitch over the Monster to send the game into extra innings.

Or so I've heard.

I also heard that the Sox ultimately blew the game in extras, thanks to a rough 10th inning by Alfredo Aceves who gave up two runs, three hits and walked one in the frame.

In all, it's been a tough little stretch for the Sox' crazy closer. He's now given up at least two runs in three of his last six appearances. (This, on the heels of a month-long span when sported a sub-1.00 ERA over 15 appearances.) And while it's too early to panic, Aceves' situation is one to keep an eye on, especially with Andrew Bailey recovering nicely from thumb surgery and set to re-join the team sometime around the All-Star Break

Either way, we don't expect the Sox to immediately throw Bailey back into the closer's role, but we do know there are two very different ways for them to handle his eventual return.

1. "OK, Andrew. We brought you in to close, and that's what you'll do. So, let's just see you get out there in a few non-save situations. Get back into the groove. And then when you're ready, the job is yours."

2. "Andrew, we know you're a closer. And in the long term, we promise that's what you're going to be. But right now, we're in a little rhythm with Alfredo and wanted to see how it plays out. In the meantime, you're still going to pitch, you're still going to be an important part of this team. There are just no guarantees about the ninth. Stay ready, though. You never know when we'll need you."

So which way will the Sox go? If you asked them last week, probably option No. 2. If you ask them this week, maybe they're leaning towards No. 1. Either way, it will be a story line to watch over the summer.

Unless you're not watching.

Which would be bad news for the Sox.

But great news for Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Cardinals pull away late for 7-2 victory over Red Sox

Cardinals pull away late for 7-2 victory over Red Sox

The Cardinals broke open a close game with four runs in the last two innings against Red Sox relief prospect Chandler Shepherd and went on to a 7-2 exhibition victory over Boston yesterday at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers.

Red Sox-Cardinals box score

The loss dropped the Sox to 1-3 for the exhibition season.

Boston had jumped on top, 1-0, on an RBI single by Mitch Moreland in the bottom of the first, but St. Louis countered with two runs in the second and one in the third, all against starter Brian Johnson. It remained 3-1 until the Cards touched Shepherd for two runs in the eighth and two in the ninth. The Red Sox added their final run in the bottom of the ninth when catcher Jordan Procyshen, who spent last season at Single-A Salem, hit a sacrifice fly.

Moreland, Xander Bogaerts and Chris Young each had two hits for the Red Sox. who also got scoreless relief from Teddy Stankiewicz, Noe Ramirez, Robby Scott, Kyle Martin and Brandon Workman. It was Bogaerts' last game before leaving to compete for The Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.

The Sox host the Yankees on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m.

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia is no stranger to injuries. That's a big reason why he's no longer a stranger to the sometimes peculiar practices of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

In an interview on WEEI's "Bradfo Show," Pedroia told Rob Bradford that he's been taking cues from the five-time Super Bowl-winning QB to help extend his playing career and make his body healthier and more durable.

“I understand what he does and know what he does. I think it’s awesome,” Pedroia told Bradford. “There’s a reason why he’s successful at his age (39), and he looks better now than he did when he first came to the league. You have to be smarter as you get older and learn different styles -- the way to train and the way you take care of your body to be able to perform and stay on the field. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing. He’s definitely got that figured out.”

Pedroia, of course, played the entire 2013 World Series-winning season with a torn ligament in his thumb. He's battled through various other lower body and hand injuries over the past few seasons, as well. But in 2016, he had his best season in recent memory, posting his highest OPS since 2011, as WEEI notes.

Part of that is with his own take on the Brady approach -- which focuses more on pliability and resistance training than extensive, heavy weight lifting -- and a healthier overall lifestyle, something Brady is notoriously infamous for having.

"There’s tons of ways to take care of your body. It’s not just get in the weight room and throw weights around,” Pedroia explained. “As you get older, the human body can’t take the pounding if you’re going in there and power lifting. When you’re younger, you can handle some of that. But as you get older, you got to be smarter. Sometimes less is more -- whether that’s weight or reps or whatever. You’ve just got to be smart. And eating wise, that’s a big part of recovery. If you put the right foods in your body, you’ll heal faster if you’re injured or recover faster. It’s like a car, man. Put bad gas in, bro. It’s not going to be the same as good gas.”

He hopes the approach can, at the very least, keep him moving for quite some time.

“I plan on living until I’m 100," he said. "So we’re not even halfway home."