Scott Atchison took one for the team, and for that he gets a trip to Pawtucket.
A day after the right-handed reliever gobbled up several outs to spare a weary bullpen, he was optioned to the minors. Fellow righty Alfredo Aceves, who was scratched from his scheduled start for the PawSox on Thursday, was recalled to take his spot prior to the opening game of a series with Minnesota.
Aceves is a member of the Pawtucket starting rotation, but has made just two starts due to multiple call-ups to the big club. He allowed two runs in eight innings out of the Red Sox bullpen earlier in the year.
Atchison threw 3 2/3 innings in Boston's 11-0 loss to Anaheim on Thursday. The bullpen was used up the night and morning before due to the 13-inning setback in the rain, so his effort in relief of an ineffective John Lackey was most appreciated.
"We kind of did what we didn't want to do with Atch, bring him up for a day and send him back, but I think we felt it was the safest thing to do for the staff," manager Terry Francona said. "He gave us so much, which we appreciate. At the same time, he wasn't going to pitch for awhile."
Atchison received hugs and handshakes from most of the players in the Red Sox clubhouse as he made his way out the door on Thursday evening. The value of taking one for the team was not lost on his colleagues.
Many of them also know they will see him again soon.
"Unfortunately for Atch, he's the guy we can do it with. He'll be back," Francona said.
Aceves had been projected to provide some starting pitching depth in case of injury, but his progress has been stunted by all of the shuffling on the staff.
Although he didn't flash any smiles when asked about the ups and downs, he knows he has a job to do.
"I'm a pitcher. That's what I do," Aceves said. "If it's a starter or a closer or reliever."
Aceves yielded just two hits and no walks in five scoreless innings to end his previous stint with Boston. He last threw April 29 for Pawtucket in a start that lasted five innings.