By MARK DIDTLER Associated Press
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ Alfredo Aceves threw six solid innings, Daniel Nava homered and the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on Wednesday night.
Aceves (3-1), recalled before the game from Triple-A Pawtucket, allowed one run, four hits and four walks. This is the right-hander’s third stint with the Red Sox this season.
Nava put the Red Sox up 2-0 on a third-inning, two-run homer off Chris Archer (1-2), who gave up two runs, four hits, four walks and struck out seven over four innings. The Rays right-hander exuberantly left the mound after striking out Nava with the bases loaded to end the fourth.
Evan Longoria got the Rays within 2-1 on a solo homer in the sixth. He has gone deep in three consecutive games after homering just once over his previous 26.
Andrew Bailey, the fourth Boston reliever, pitched the ninth for his seventh save in nine opportunties. After Craig Breslow allowed a two-out double in the eighth Kelly Johnson, Koji Uehara entered and struck out Longoria.
Jacoby Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single and scored on Nava’s two-out shot in the third. He also stole two bases in the game, giving him 29 for the year. Ellsbury has scored a run in 10 consecutive games, and stolen a base five straight games.
Tampa Bay loaded the bases by drawing three walks from Aceves in the second, but failed to score when Yunel Escobar hit an inning-ending grounder.
Aceves worked out of a two-on, no-out jam in the third by striking out Johnson and getting a double-play grounder by Longoria.
Rays first baseman James Loney made a strong defensive play in the first, diving to his right to take away a potential two-out RBI single from David Ortiz.
NOTES: Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz played catch for the first time since leaving his start last Saturday with neck stiffness. He might return to the rotation Sunday or Tuesday. … Rays LHP David Price, on the 15-day disabled list since May 16 with a left triceps strain, will throw in a simulated game Thursday. … The Red Sox optioned RHP Jose De La Torre to Pawtucket. … Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy threw the ceremonial first pitch. He was first scheduled to do it May 25, but was delayed that day getting to the ballpark due to a minor vehicle accident in which no one was injured.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)