Aceves gave up eight runs — six earned — on eight hits in five-plus innings of a 10-7 loss to the Chicago White Sox. The uneven effort handed the righty just his second loss in 18 career decisions, and gave Tim Wakefield a decided advantage as those two essentially bid for that No. 5 spot.
"It was a bad day for me," Aceves said. "One of those games where you feel good and things don't happen … Just have to swallow and prepare myself for the next start."
When that start is remains to be seen, if it even happens. Lackey, who threw 5 2/3 innings in a rehab start for Pawtucket while Aceves was getting knocked around by the White Sox, will start Sunday at Fenway Park against Oakland. After a day off, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Josh Beckett will pitch in a three-game series in New York. Either Aceves or Wakefield would get the ball next Friday in Toronto, in all likelihood.
Manager Terry Francona said before Tuesday's game that he will wait to make that decision and even after that date could use Aceves and Wakefield interchangeably, mixing and matching them based on the schedule and what is needed in both the bullpen and the rotation.
Safe money has Wakefield getting the lion's share of the starts. Aceves could provide more value out of the bullpen, presumably. But before any decisions are made, Aceves is taking the approach that he will have at least one more start.
"Every five days," he said when asked when he thinks he will pitch next.
Later, when pressed on his preparedness in a possible move to the bullpen, Aceves took a more general approach.
"I've been saying for all season, I'm a pitcher. That's what I do. I'm a pitcher," he said. "It doesn't matter whether you start or your role. You've got to pitch. You've got to get outs. You've got to make outs."
Unfortunately, he didn't get quite enough outs on Tuesday, falling victim to some spotty command and some lucky bounces on the part of the White Sox, who had a handful of soft hits that found holes. If there still is a competition in the eyes of Francona, Aceves has taken a back seat for now.
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