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Aceves allowed two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out a career-high seven. His only blemish was the two-run homer he surrendered to Jason Bay in the seventh inning that extended the Sox' lead to 6-3.
It was the longest outing of the season by a Yankees reliever but not the first time Aceves has impressed the Yankees: He went 1-0 with a 2.40 ERA in six games (four starts) following his recall last August.
"He threw the ball good," Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters. "It's a lot of what we saw last year from him when he came up. He's a guy that can mix a lot of different pitches and he'll use both sides of the plate and doesn't shy away from contact."
The Yankees' offseason spending spree and renewed emphasis on veteran arms left no room for Aceves, a 26-year-old whom the Yankees signed out of the Mexican League following the 2007 season, but the opportunity is there for him to become a valuable member of an overworked Yankees bullpen.
Yankees relievers have already thrown 81 2/3 innings, an average of more than three-and-a-half innings per game, and Monday marked the seventh time in 25 games this season that a Yankees starter has lasted five or fewer innings.
RED SOX 6, YANKEES 4: The Red Sox scored once in each of the first four innings off Phil Hughes and Jonathan Papelbon struck out Robinson Cano with the bases loaded as the Sox withstood a late rally by the Yankees to win the opener of a two-game series in New York. Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira homered on consecutive pitches in the fifth as the Yankees pulled within 4-3, but Alfredo Aceves gave up a two-run homer to Jason Bay in the seventh and the Yankees could not push the tying or go-ahead runs across despite threats in the final two innings. Hughes was charged with the four runs on seven hits and four walks while striking out just two in four innings. Teixeira homered from both sides of the plate while Jorge Posada was 2-for-2 before leaving with a right hamstring injury.