With John Lackey now on the disabled list, the always temperamental Alfredo Aceves was scheduled to pick up the right-hander’s slot in the rotation. After a tumultuous season in the bullpen, Thursday night was Aceves’ first start since 2011. Despite showing some obvious rust in the role, Aceves had an admirable performance, allowing only two runs over five innings of work (one of which being a solo shot off the bat of the red-hot Chris Davis). Additionally, Aceves allowed six hits, three walks, and struck out three before handing the ball off to the bullpen.
The offense was relatively quiet in regards to the run column, despite tallying nine hits and two walks. Chris Tillman started for the O’s and lasted only 5 1/3 innings, allowing the only runs the Sox could muster up all night. Both runs came in the third inning, off the bats of Dustin Pedroia (1-4), and Mike Napoli (2-4), who had back to back RBI singles. That was all the Sox could get though, despite a strong performance from Stephen Drew, who added two walks and his first hit in a Sox uniform.
With the game tied 2-2 in the seventh, the Sox pen was unable to hold preserve the game. Clayton Mortenson started the seventh, but promptly gave up a single to Manny Machado (3-4, BB), who continued his series long destruction of Red Sox pitching tonight. Following an Andrew Miller walk to Nick Markakis, Koji Uehara was brought in to shut down the rally. Unlike his performances up to this point (he retired all nine batters he faced this season), Uehara allowed the eventual game-winning run to score on a double by Adam Jones.
The Sox were unable to do much else off the O’s pen, getting just two base runners following Tillman’s departure. Last year’s saves leader, Jim Johnson, closed out the game and the series.
Also of note, right-hander Alex Wilson, who took Lackey’s roster spot , had his major league debut tonight. The first Major Leaguer ever born in Saudi Arabia , Wilson followed up a lead-off walk with a double play and strikeout.
The Rays come to town tomorrow, with young righty, Alex Cobb, toeing the rubber for Tampa Bay. Felix Doubront will hope to rebound off a rather mediocre first start of the season. Game time is at 7:10 p.m ET.