Aceves still closer as Sox monitor Bailey

Aceves still closer as Sox monitor Bailey

Aceves still closer as Sox monitor Bailey
BOSTON -- Alfredo Aceves had blown three of his last five save chances entering Friday, but the right-hander will remain the Red Sox's closer for now.

When the Red Sox acquired Andrew Bailey from Oakland during the offseason, the club envisioned he would be their closer in 2012. But Bailey underwent surgery on his right thumb the day before the season started and Aceves took over that role.

Bailey made his season debut on Aug. 14. He's allowed one run on three hits in four appearances, with four strikeouts in two innings.

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine needs to see more from Bailey, though, before he considers making him his closer.

"I wish he had a little more [appearances] so I could make that determination," Valentine said before Friday's series opener against the Royals.

In his first season as a closer, Aceves has 25 saves in 32 opportunities. He's 2-8 with a 4.60 ERA. He took the loss and blew a save in Thursday's 14-13 defeat against the Angels.

Aceves has made a career-high 58 appearances with 62 2/3 innings this year. On Thursday, he allowed five runs on six hits, including two homers in one-plus innings.

Is Aceves showing signs of fatigue?

"No, I've even heard that he hasn't pitched enough and that's part of the problem with his command," Valentine said. "His stuff is there, just according to the catchers it's down the middle, that's not a good place to be."

What has been Valentine's evaluation of Bailey since he returned from injury?

"I think he's pitched well every time he's been back," the manager said. "He's gaining command and confidence."