|Closing Time: Ace’d out — Alfredo Aceves blows save in return as Angels walk off past Red Sox||08.29.12 at 1:29 am ET|
Alfredo Aceves returned from his three-game suspension, but he submitted results that were dismally familiar. The right-hander, entrusted with a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth, blitzed through his first inning of work but then allowed a pair of runs in the ninth as the Angels claimed a 6-5 walkoff win.
Aceves fell to 2-9 on the year and suffered through his eighth blown save, tied for the most in the majors. He has a 4.76 ERA. The blown save was the second in as many outings for the 29-year-old, who also permitted five runs on six hits in two innings in his prior appearance last Thursday — the one that preceded his sitting while Andrew Bailey was brought in for a save on Friday, prompting Aceves’ angry reaction that led to a suspension for conduct detrimental to the team.
On Tuesday, his only conduct detrimental to the team occurred in the ninth inning, when he hit a batter’s foot, issued a walk, gave up a broken-bat single up the middle by Mike Trout and then allowed a walkoff sacrifice fly by Torii Hunter.
The Sox fell to 62-68.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
• Aceves suffered his third blown save in August, a month in which he has a 10.32 ERA.
• Jose Iglesias, in his first start of the season, went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and, after failing to execute a sacrifice bunt attempt, grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.
• Scott Podsednik, who carried a seven-game hitting streak into the game, went 0-for-4. Still, he continues to lead all big leaguers with at least 100 plate appearances with a .362 average.
• Ryan Kalish, in his first start since his latest recall on Monday, went 1-for-4 with a strikeout. He grounded into a bases-loaded double play that scored a run but also gave Angels starter Jared Weaver the needed breathing room to limit the damage in a three-run fourth inning. Kalish also was fooled by a fly ball off the end of the bat of Trout, allowing it to drop for a single — a misplay that he compounded by overrunning the ball for an error that allowed the speedy Angels leadoff hitter to advance to second. He did line a single through the left side of the infield in his last at-bat, however.
• Trout remained a thorn in the Sox’ side, crushing a long homer to left-center to lead off the game, adding two singles (including one of the game-tying variety) and making a terrific diving catch of a sinking Pedro Ciriaco liner in center field.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
• For the sixth straight game, Jacoby Ellsbury had multiple hits while scoring a run — matching the longest such streak in the majors this year. In fact, Ellsbury is the only Red Sox to have such a streak in the last five years — he accomplished it last July, and now has repeated the feat this season. His 2-for-4 night gave him a season-high eight-game hitting streak in which he’s hitting .405/.421/.568/.989. He also stole a base, his 10th of the year. This is the first extended stretch of 2012 in which he has resembled the game-changing star of a year ago.
• Jarrod Saltalamacchia, serving as designated hitter, jumpstarted the Red Sox offense with a solo homer in the top of the second off of Jered Weaver, and later added an RBI single. His 2-for-4 night resulted in his first game with multiple RBI hits since May 31.
• Ryan Lavarnway made a couple of impressive defensive plays. First, he blocked a couple of pitches in the dirt with runners on third in the sixth inning to preserve the Sox’ one-run lead. Then, with Trout on second base, Lavarnway leapt out of his crouch to make a diving catch of a sacrifice bunt attempt by Hunter for the second out of the inning. He also went 1-for-2 with a double off the fence in right-center, a walk and a deep sac fly in the first big league game he’s played in front of friends and family in his native Southern California.
• Pedro Ciriaco went 1-for-3 with a steal, giving him 10 steals in as many attempts.
• It wasn’t the most elegant of outings for Clay Buchholz, but the right-hander once again demonstrated an ability to work into games that has become a defining element of his midseason surge. For the seventh time in his last eight outings, Buchholz pitched seven or more innings, allowing four runs on six hits (including two solo homers) while walking three and striking out five. Though he was saddled with a no-decision, since May 27 Buchholz is 7-2 with a 2.89 ERA, bringing him to 11-4 with a 4.50 ERA for the year — fairly remarkable numbers given that, through six starts, he had a major league-worst 9.09 ERA.
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