DUNEDIN, Fla. – The Boston Red Sox may have their rotation set, but reliever Alfredo Aceves gives the team security if a spot start is needed.
Aceves pitched five shutout innings Friday in Boston’s 1-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Aceves, the temperamental right-hander who wanted desperately to be in the starting rotation last year, allowed only two hits and two walks, while striking out five.
Toronto starter J.A. Happ matched Aceves with a two-hit shutout over five innings.
Red Sox pitcher J.D. Durbin took the loss on an unearned run in the eighth. With two runners on and two outs, Jeff Pillar reached on a scoring error by third baseman Drew Sutton, scoring a run.
Jackie Bradley Jr., the former Portland Sea Dogs outfielder, continues his solid spring. He had one of two Boston hits — a first-inning double — and went 1-for-4, his average still at .429.
The big news concerning Bradley was him being moved from center field to left field in the seventh inning.
There had been speculation that Bradley Jr. would play left field if he were to make the major league team. Three days ago, Red Sox Manager John Farrell said he did not think Bradley would play in left.
“We reserve the right to change our minds and our plans,” Farrell said after the game. “We’ve had some discussions. We want to take a look at him in left field.”
Another former Sea Dogs outfielder, Bryce Brentz, had Boston’s other hit. Sea Dogs shortstop Xander Bogaerts, playing his first major league exhibition game since the World Baseball Classic, went 0 for 2 with a walk.
NOTES: Right-handed reliever Jose De La Torre returned to the Red Sox from his Puerto Rico team in the World Baseball Classic. De La Torre followed Aceves and pitched two hitless innings, allowing a walk and striking out two. … While Red Sox starter Jon Lester pitched in a minor league game in Fort Myers, Toronto’s R.A. Dickey pitched at the Blue Jays’ minor league complex. … Clay Buchholz is scheduled to start for the Red Sox today at 1 p.m. in a home game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. … Farrell said his regular players would play in today’s and Sunday’s game in Clearwater against the Phillies.