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Aceves gives Valentine the brush-off on mound

The Sports Xchange
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--RHP Alfredo Aceves' strange season continues to get stranger. Pitching in relief of RHP Aaron Cook on Wednesday night, Aceves allowed a homer to Curtis Granderson and a double to Nick Swisher when manager Bobby Valentine came to the mound to replace him. Aceves walked off the third base side of the mound and made a wide turn toward the first base dugout, avoiding any contact with Valentine. "I didn't have the baseball with me, so what am I going to do?" Aceves said. "I'm going to go away from the field. What am I going to do?" Asked about his relationship with Valentine, with whom he recently had an argument that resulted in a three-game suspension, Aceves said, "I'm good. Ask him if he's good. I don't know." Asked if he thought Aceves showed him up, Valentine said, "Who cares if he shows me up? If I had to explain Aceves' actions, I'd go across the river and work for Harvard." In 16 appearances since Aug. 1, Aceves has a 7.25 ERA.

--C Jarrod Saltalamacchia returned to the lineup after missing three games with back spasms, and he went 3-for-3 with a double, a triple and a solo homer. "Salty has had a really good year for us this year," manager Bobby Valentine said. "It's totally unappreciated by some, but he did a very good job tonight and for most of the season." Saltalamacchia also has had an inconsistent season. After posting All-Star-caliber numbers in the first half, he has slumped badly since Aug. 1 and recently has lost playing time to rookie C Ryan Lavarnway. However, Saltalamacchia also leads the Red Sox with 24 home runs despite his high strikeout total (119).

--1B James Loney notched two hits, including an RBI double. Acquired in the Aug. 25 blockbuster with the Dodgers, Loney is 14-for-52 (.269) with one homer and five RBI in 15 games with the Red Sox. And while his former team is vying for a wild-card berth in the National League, his new team is merely playing for pride, having lost 28 of its last 39 games. That said, Loney is optimistic the Red Sox can still impact the AL playoff race by being a spoiler. "(Tuesday night) we showed with that walk-off win what we're capable of," Loney said, referring to the series opener against the Yankees. "But it was close tonight."

--RHP Scott Atchison was activated from the 60-day disabled list, giving him a chance to pitch again this season. Six weeks ago, that seemed unlikely. Sidelined by a strained elbow, Atchison thought he may be headed for Tommy John surgery. But after a visit with noted orthopedic surgeon James Andrews, Atchison opted to get healthy through rest and rehabilitation. After two outings for Class AAA Pawtucket, Atchison rejoined the Red Sox. "When they said he might not pitch again, I looked in his eyes and he said, 'No, I'm going to pitch,'" manager Bobby Valentine said. "He researched a little. He found out that some other people had the same injury as he did, and he came back and pitched. He went down and shut people out in the minor leagues, and now he's back in the big leagues. It's a credit to him as a person as well as him as a pitcher. He's special." Atchison has a 1.76 ERA with 34 strikeouts and nine walks in 46 innings this season.

--LHP Franklin Morales was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL, clearing a spot on the 40-man roster for RHP Scott Atchison, who returned from the 60-day DL. Morales, sidelined due to left shoulder fatigue, is done for the year.

BY THE NUMBERS
.381 -- Batting average since Aug. 5 for 2B Dustin Pedroia, who left Wednesday night's game early to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"It's for everybody. Personally, yeah, if I finish the season doing well, I feel good. But one guy can't win all the games. Personally, I don't feel good, but I think it would be better if the team went into the offseason feeling good about where we're at and feeling good about winning some games." --C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, on the Red Sox's goals for the season's final three weeks.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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