Ortiz calls for Aceves in the starting role


Ortiz calls for Aceves in the starting role

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen

BOSTON -- David Ortiz surely meant no disrespect to Kyle Weiland, but he thought there might have been a better choice for a starting pitcher in the first game of Monday's doubleheader.

Alfredo Aceves, who has been so valuable because of his versatility this season, pitched three scoreless innings in Monday afternoon's 6-5 loss to the Orioles. He held the Os in check while the Sox fought back to within one run. If it was up to Ortiz, Aceves, who has made four starts this season, would have taken the mound in the first inning, not the seventh.

The way things are going he should be starting, said Ortiz. Simple as that. Give it a shot.

In his four starts, spanning 21 innings, Aceves has a record of 1-1 with a 5.14 ERA. He has given up 14 runs (12 earned) on 20 hits and 13 walks, with 13 strikeouts. He has not given up a home run, holding opponents to a .250 average.

But he has not started since June 21, against the Padres. His bullpen role became too valuable.

Hes got good stuff, man, Ortiz said. You see how easy he gets hitters out. I think at one point, he might be a starter. I dont know. It all depends on what our front office decides. Hes got good stuff, man. And we definitely need a guy who can come in and give us six or seven good innings. It seems like hes capable of doing it. Well see.

Although manager Terry Francona has shown little inclination to put Aceves in the rotation, there is potentially still time to see what Aceves could do in that role. Certainly, he can't do much worse than most of the other starting pitching performances the Sox have had in September.

In 18 games this month, entering Mondays night game, starting pitchers have gone just 86 innings, averaging less than five innings a game.They have given up 68 runs (61 earned) on 100 hits and 43 walks with 75 strikeouts and 13 home runs. The starters have posted a combined 6.38 ERA while pitching just three quality starts.

Aceves, meanwhile, lowered his ERA to 2.74 with his performance Monday afternoon.

"We still have like, what, right games left?" Ortiz said. "Its not going to be tomorrow. He threw 53 pitches, 32 for strikes today. But, hes got Jon Lester stuff. And weve been seeing that for a while, right?"

While Aceves has proven his value to the pitching staff, especially taking long innings in relief, what the Sox desperately need now is a starting pitcher who can give the team a quality outing -- and preferably a win.

Perhaps Aceves is that pitcher.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

What we learned in Red Sox' 4-0 loss to Rays


What we learned in Red Sox' 4-0 loss to Rays

David Price is embarrassed and the offense is embarrassing, Those are some of the takeaways from Wednesday's loss.

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Quotes, notes and stars: Price's struggles 'crushing me right now'


Quotes, notes and stars: Price's struggles 'crushing me right now'

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 4-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays:

"I'm so much better than this. I've just got to get better. It's crushing me right now, but I'll get there." -- David Price

"I've just got to pitch better. That's what it is right now. It's not something else. It's not bad luck. It's me, so I've got to get better." -- Price

"We had the big opportunity with David [Ortiz] and Hanley [Ramirez] in the middle of the order and bases loaded, one out. Figure that's the time we can cash in. But that wasn't the case.'' -- John Farrell on a blown opportunity in the sixth inning

"It got a little worse; the best choice was to come out of the game.'' -- Hanley Ramirez, who left in the eighth with a strained back

-- Jackie Bradley Jr., thrown out trying to swipe third base in the fifth, was caught stealing for the first time in his career, having been successful in his first 20 atttempts.

-- David Ortiz has reached base safely in 20 straight games.

-- The shutout suffered by the Red Sox was the first since April 19 -- also against Tampa Bay.

-- The loss marked only the third time this season that the Red Sox didn't collect an extra-base hit.

-- Boston is 2-7 agains the Rays in the last nine meetings between the two.

-- The Sox are now 5-10 against lefty starters this season.

-- David Price dropped to 1-3, 6.52 in five career starts against the Rays.

-- Price has allowed 57 earned runs this season, or three fewer than all of last year.

-- Price has allowed at least one homer in nine straight starts, a career-high streak.

1) Brandon Guyer: Activated earlier Wednesday after a DL stint for a hamstring strain, Guyer made his presence felt with a solo homer to lead off the second, then added a run-scoring double as part of the three-run third.

2) Matt Moore: The lefty entered the game with a bloated 5.04 ERA, but tamed the Red Sox with seven shutout innings. He didn't allow a base hit until the sixth and yielded just three overall.

3) Logan Forsythe: Forsythe smoked a double off Price to lead off the Tampa Bay first inning, signaling that it might be a long afternoon for the Red Sox lefty. He later singled and scored in the third.