Injury Forces Boston Red Sox To Go With Alfredo Aceves Against Baltimore Orioles

By Justin Söderberg
Joy R. Absalon – USA TODAY Sports

On a rainy Wednesday night at Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan blew a two-run lead in the ninth inning, falling to the Baltimore Orioles, 8-5.

The Red Sox look to come back from the loss and finish strong in the series against the Orioles strong on Thursday night, but not before juggling their starting rotation a bit. After John Lackey injured his arm in his first start in over 18 months, the Red Sox have placed him on the disabled list. This move prompted the team to push Felix Doubront‘s start to Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays and replace his start with Alfredo Aceves.

The Red Sox had a few options to replace Lackey’s absence in the starting rotation. After a great spring, the team could’ve elected to go with Allen Webster or Rubby De La Rosa. They are hesitant to summon the former, since he made his season debut for the Pawtucket Red Sox last week, going five innings and striking out five. The Red Sox would like to give the youngster a solid couple of months before considering him available to the major league club.

De La Rosa underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011 and the Red Sox are being extra cautious with the pitcher. He won’t be rushed, as the Red Sox are having him open the season with two-inning stints and is nowhere near being able to fill in as a MLB starter. He has the ability to eventually be a star in the big leagues, but the team will take their time.

Instead, the Red Sox will go with Aceves. As a reliever this season, Aceves has pitched in two games going 4.2 innings, striking out five and giving up five earned runs (10.38 ERA). His statistics aren’t the best, but its one of the only viable options for the Red Sox and will hope he can perform as a starter.

Thursday night, the Orioles will send Chris Tillman to the mound. In his lone start this season, Tillman went 3.2 innings with four strikeouts and giving up five earned runs (12.27 ERA). He will look to rebound off the horrible season debut and give the Orioles a chance to take the final game of the series.

First pitch for the final game of the series is set for 7:10 p.m. eastern at Fenway Park in Boston, Mass.

Justin Soderberg is a Boston Red Sox writer for Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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