A's hand Colon ball at Fenway Park

Veteran righty Bartolo Colon faces the Boston Red Sox for the 27th time in his career on Tuesday night when the Oakland Athletics visit Fenway Park for the second of a three-game series.

Colon, who reached the majors with the Cleveland Indians in 1997, has subsequently pitched for the Montreal Expos, Chicago White Sox, Anaheim and Los Angeles Angels, the Red Sox, New York Yankees and the Athletics.

He was 10-9 in 24 starts with Oakland last season -- the 10th time he's won at least 10 games in a season.

Three starts in 2013 have yielded two more victories and a no-decision as the Dominican, who turns 40 next month, has given up a combined 20 hits and seven runs in 19 innings while walking zero and striking out 10.

He's 8-11 against the Red Sox and was 4-2 with them over seven starts in a brief stint at the end of 2008.

In 16 appearances at Fenway, he's 6-6.

Boston counters with Mexican-born righty Alfredo Aceves, who starts for the third time in his fifth 2013 outing.

Aceves began the year with consecutive relief outings against the Yankees and Toronto, then went five innings apiece in starts against Baltimore and Cleveland.

He's given up five runs in 10 innings as a starter after allowing five runs in 4 1/3 relief innings.

Aceves is 3-1 in nine career relief outings against Oakland.

On Monday, Mike Napoli went 2-for-4 and stroked a grand slam as part of a five-RBI night and the Red Sox clubbed their way past the Athletics, 9-6

The red-hot Napoli, who was named the American League co-player of the Week with teammate Andrew Bailey on Monday, has driven in 17 runs over a nine-game tear and is batting a cool .351 over the stretch.

"He's a very good hitter," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "He's got a long track record of extra-base and RBI production, but what he's done in this ballpark over the course of his career, those things are beacons when you look to select a player, and he's a very good fit here."

The Red Sox were swept in Sunday's doubleheader against Kansas City, but Felix Doubront (2-0) gave them a lift with a solid 6 2/3 innings of work. He struck out eight and gave up three runs on just three hits and five walks.

Overall, Boston starters are a combined 10-3 on the season.

Will Middlebrooks cranked a three-run homer, Jarrod Saltalamacchia contributed an RBI double and Bailey notched his fourth save of season with a scoreless ninth after Oakland scored three runs in the eighth.

Oakland starter A.J. Griffin (2-1), who hadn't allowed more than two runs in any of his first three starts, was tagged for all nine runs -- seven earned -- on eight hits over four-plus innings.

The Athletics, losers in four straight, managed just five hits. Josh Reddick and Josh Donaldson had two RBI apiece and Chris Young drove in a run in the setback.

Oakland won eight of nine games with the Red Sox last season, a year after Boston took six of eight games in the series.