Aceves reinstated, but appears to lose closer's role

Aceves reinstated, but appears to lose closer's role

Aceves reinstated, but appears to lose closer's role
ANAHEIM -- Alfredo Aceves rejoined the Red Sox following his three-game suspension on Tuesday after flying to the West Coast on his own. However, he no longer appears to be the team's closer.

Although manager Bobby Valentine hasn't made it official, it appears Andrew Bailey will pitch in that role for the rest of the season.

Aceves served as the setup guy and the closer on Tuesday, only because Valentine's bullpen was tapped out.

In the eighth, Aceves was masterful, mowing through the Angels. But in an all-too recurring theme of late, the righty faltered in the ninth inning, blowing the save in Boston's 6-5 walk-off loss to the Angels.

"What did I think of the ninth inning?" Valentine said. "I thought it was terrible. They scored two runs and beat us."

In his last 11 outings dating back to July 29, Aceves is 1-3 with an 8.56 ERA, allowing a .294 opponents' batting average. He has blown four of seven save opportunities over that time. For the season, Aceves is 2-9 with a 4.76 ERA. He is 25-for-33 in save opportunities.

Meanwhile, Bailey has come back from right thumb surgery and thrived, posting a 1.69 ERA in his first seven games.

One tell-tale sign that Aceves is no longer the closer is the fact he warmed up as early as the sixth inning on Tuesday.

"I'm not saying that was his role tonight for a save. He was the only guy available to pitch," Valentine said. "Bailey's been in the ninth inning the last few games. [Aceves] was up in the sixth inning tonight."

Aceves did not make himself available to the media after the game, taking a call on his cellphone that was still going on as he walked out of the clubhouse.

Before the game, in a brief interview, Aceves chose not to show remorse for his suspension.

"The past is the past," Aceves said. "I'm here to play baseball."

Aceves was suspended for disciplinary reasons. It's believed he had a tirade in Valentine's office on Friday after the manager went with Bailey in a save situation that night.

"It's all over," Valentine said. "I'm excited about him possibly coming back and helping us win a game -- or two or three."

At times during the interview, Aceves got testy.

"Please ask me about baseball. OK? Can you hear that?" Aceves said. "I'm going to answer your question, but that's personal. That's personal stuff for the team. What happened with the team stays in the team."

Valentine didn't divulge much more.

"We talked in here for a half hour and another 20 minutes with the coaches," Valentine said.

To make room for Aceves on the roster, the Red Sox placed lefty Franklin Morales on the disabled list with left shoulder fatigue.