Boston’s new kid on the block looked right at home on Fenway’s pitching mound Saturday night. And the rest of the Red Sox didn’t look too bad, either.
Right-hander Jake Peavy, acquired by Boston from the White Sox at the July 31 trading deadline, made a statement debut Saturday, going seven innings, giving up just two runs on four hits while walking two and striking out seven to help lead Boston to a 5-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Peavy out-dueled Arizona’s Patrick Corbin over seven innings to earn his first win in a Red Sox uniform, improving his season’s record to 9-4 on the year. Boston got offensive, defensive and bullpen contributions to make the win a total team effort.
Arizona got on the board first in a quality pitching match-up when Paul Goldschmidt tagged Peavy for his 26th home run of the year to put Arizona on top 1-0 in the top of the fourth. Boston answered an inning later when Shane Victorino hit a line drive home run off Corbin, who came into the game at 12-2 on the year, over The Monster, for his seventh round-tripper of the year to knot things up at 1-1.
Boston took a 3-1 advantage in the bottom of the seventh when Stephen Drew and Brandon Snyder reached Corbin for singles to begin the inning. Both scored on follow-up RBI singles by Jacoby Ellsbury and a SAC Fly RBI by Victorino.
Peavy came out for the eighth inning and surrendered a lead-off single to Will Nieves, prompting Bosox manager John Ferrell to go to the bullpen. He summoned Craig Breslow who struggled, first hitting Cliff Pennington with a pitch and then giving up a single to Gerardo Parra to load the bases for Arizona with no outs. Junichi Tazawa came on for Boston and gave up a bases loaded single to Aaron Hill to make it 3-2 Boston, but on the play Jonny Gomes fired a strike to Jarrod Saltalamachia at home plate to nail Pennington who tried to score on the play for the first out of the inning. Tazawa then got Paul Goldschmidt to strike out and Eric Chavez to fly out, ending Arizona’s threat with runners stranded on first and second.
Boston padded its lead in the bottom of the eighth when Mike Napoli worked Diamondback reliever David Hernandez for a walk, and one out later, Saltalamachia hit a towering two-run homer to right field to give Boston a cushion at 5-2.
Red Sox closer Koji Uehara came on in the ninth and after issuing a walk to Martin Prado, got former Red Sox outfielder Cody Ross to hit into a force play that retired Prado at second and finished off the game by enticing Jason Kubel to ground into a game-ending double play.
The victory evened the series with the Diamondbacks at one-game-apiece and improved Boston’s record to 67-45, enabling the Red Sox to maintain a one-game lead over Tampa Bay in the A.L. East, 2-1 winners in 10 innings over the San Francisco Giants. The win also moved Boston’s home record to 38-21 and upped the Red Sox advantage over National League teams in Inter-League play this season to 8-3.
Arizona sends right hander Brandon McCarthy (2-4, ERA 5.00) to the hill Sunday afternoon to face Boston southpaw Felix Doubront (7-5, ERA 3.77) to wrap up the weekend. Boston then departs on a 10 game road trip that will feature series against Houston, Kansas City and A.L. East rivals Toronto before returning to Fenway on August 16 to host the New York Yankees.
- Diamondbacks avoid Boston’s drama, drop Red Sox 7-6 (baseballtrashtalkin.org)
- Peavy Strong In Boston Debut, Beats Diamondbacks (wbur.org)