TORONTO -- Alfredo Aceves wrote a short note to manager Bobby Valentine before Monday's 4-2 victory over the Blue Jays that had one key word: Trust.
Even after Aceves failed to record a single out in his first two games as Boston's closer, Aceves still trusted himself, and he wanted to make sure his manager also did.
Valentine reassured Aceves that he would get the ball again if the Red Sox had the lead in the ninth inning -- and he did.
This time, Aceves worked a 1-2-3 ninth and the Red Sox were in the win column after dropping their first three.
"I just said, 'Trust' [in the note to Valentine]," said Aceves. "We're going to still trust. The last three games against Detroit, everything was negative. You guys [in the media], you're doing the best that you can. But we stick together, and one of the things is trust. Whatever you do, just trust."
Aceves' ERA might be 27.00, but it sure beats the infinity dashes he had going into the game.
"Well, like [hitting coach] Dave Magadan said, he's got an ERA now," quipped Valentine. "You know, he came in, he threw pretty much the same pitches. They were all quality -- up in the zone, away in the zone. His breaking ball was really good. His fastball was crisp. Before the game, he wrote me a little note and talked about trust. I told him I trusted him. He knew he was going to have the ball."
After his two nightmares in Detroit, the latter of which had come on Sunday afternoon when he squandered a three-run lead in seven pitches, Aceves carved up the Blue Jays.
"We all thought he would make a great closer once they named him because of that, because he's got a great mindset," said first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. "He's got a great gameplan when he's on the mound, he knows how to pitch, he knows what he's doing out there. He executes. The last two games were two things you won't see too often from him."