Editor's note: NESN.com is going to tell the story of the 2012 Red Sox in Bobby Valentine's words. Each game day, we will select a Valentine quote that sums up the day for the Red Sox.
BOSTON — Alfredo Aceves' season is spiraling out of control.
Fresh off a late-game debacle on Wednesday against the Rays, the Red Sox reliever crumbled in the 12th inning of Saturday's 9-6 loss to the Orioles, allowing three runs in 2/3 of an inning.
Facing Jim Thome, Aceves yielded a ground-rule double to the veteran that pushed in the go-ahead run. After Endy Chavez delivered another RBI, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine decided to pull Aceves.
But the damage had already been done.
"It's kind of like a box of chocolates right now, you never know what you’re gonna get," Valentine said, referring to Aceves' outings. "You know, he's got 94, he's got a breaking ball, he's throwing a cutter. He's just getting hit."
Now, Aceves has surrendered 19 earned runs over his last 10 appearances. By the time he exited Saturday's game, the former closer had raised his ERA to 5.31.
"It's definitely surprising," starter Aaron Cook said. "He had a real rough one today. He's been so good for us for most of the year and he's always tough to see. Me, personally, I'm pulling for him because he's a great guy."
During his last 10 appearances, Aceves has only tossed three spotless outings. It's a complete turnaround from an impressive performance in July, when he allowed just three runs in 12 outings.
Like Valentine, catcher Ryan Lavarnway reiterated the notion that Aceves was unpredictable.
"He kind of mixes his stuff every time up he goes out there, so it's tough for me to pinpoint one specific thing," Lavarnway said. "It's consistently different stuff. He's kind of his own animal. He goes out there and does what he can and it ended up the cutter doesn't quite get off the plate like we wanted it to."
Aceves' implosion also ruined a superb game from the bullpen, considering Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa, Andrew Bailey and Mark Melancon enjoyed clean innings from the eighth to the 11th inning.