Alfredo Aceves' run as the fill-in for John Lackey was not expected to go off entirely without any problems, and tonight the universe decided to even the score in that regard. Six runs in the last two frames for Boston made this game more bearable at the end of the night, but giving up 10 runs never feels good--Aceves, who had allowed just eight runs to this point in 28 1/3 innings pitched and had won his last 12 decisions, was responsible for eight of those 10 runs tonight.
Aceves went five innings and pitched to two batters in the sixth, walking three while striking out just one. His lone issue this year--and the item that made some of his starts a little worrisome--has been his K/BB ratio, and that problem surfaced tonight. Between the three walks and eight hits--six of which came with runners in scoring position--it's no wonder this wasn't his best day at the office.
The offense has more to be proud of, at least, with Jason Varitek going deep for his second homer in the third inning off of starter Philip Humber (7 2/3 innings pitched, five strikeouts against one walk, four runs allowed) and David Ortiz adding his 12th of the year in the eighth off of reliever Will Ohman. Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Reddick, and Drew Sutton all added doubles as well, helping to make up for the fact the team drew just one walk against Humber.
In more silver lining news, Bobby Jenks returned tonight and threw a scoreless inning of relief. He also avoided getting into a fist fight with Oney Guillen, so it was a banner evening for the reliever. Dan Wheeler also added a scoreless frame, dropping his ERA to 7.80 on the season--reliever ERA takes awhile to fall, and Wheeler's time on the DL didn't help matters. Having those two around will help keep them in games where they give up runs early--like tonight's. Assuming Scott Atchison (two runs, four hits, no strikeouts in two innings) doesn't stick around much longer, anyway.
The Red Sox will try to avoid a sweep at the hands of Chicago tomorrow night, with Gavin Floyd taking on Tim Wakefield in the series finale.