Aceves' effort earns him another start

Alfredo Aceves threw 79 pitches in five innings, allowing two runs on six hits. David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports

BOSTON -- Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell said that Alfredo Aceves is "on line to make his next start," which would be Tuesday in Cleveland. After Aceves' effort Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles, it isn't a very difficult decision.

While Aceves did not light the world on fire with his five innings in a 3-2 loss to the Orioles, he did allow Farrell to manage the game the way he wanted to. This was especially important after the Sox used five relievers in a tough loss the night before and did not have the services of closer Joel Hanrahan.

"Gave us five solid innings of work," Farrell said of Aceves. "Given his first start of the year, kept the game under control. I thought he managed the lineup well with the exception of a solo home run on the 3-0 pitch to [Chris] Davis, I thought he worked his way around the lineup pretty well tonight."

Aceves allowed two runs on six hits and three walks while striking out four. The homer by Davis landed practically in the Charles River, but it was just one run and Davis has been doing such things to many others this season. The Orioles managed only five more singles versus the Sox right-hander.

John Lackey is eligible to return April 22, which gives Aceves at least one and likely two more starts, if in fact Lackey returns on time. A lot can change between now and then, but Aceves indicated he will "stay ready" for whatever role he has going forward.

"Feel OK. Lasted five innings. I felt OK," said Aceves, never one for hyperbole. "Unfortunately we didn't win the game. That's all that matters."

Aceves has made five starts in his Red Sox career. He has lasted at least five innings in all of them and has allowed two runs or less in three. Given the challenge of jumping out of one role and into another, his flexibility is appreciated.

"I thought he threw the ball, coming out of the bullpen and getting a spot start, he threw the ball well," catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. "Gave up a couple of runs but kept us in the ballgame."

That's about all the Sox can ask for. With a long season ahead and with a limited amount of starting pitching depth to turn to in case of emergency, they will most certainly ask for it again.