BOSTON – Jake Peavy returned to the mound for the eighth inning. But after giving up a lead-off single to Wil Nieves, manager John Farrell came out to get him. With the Red Sox leading the Diamondbacks 3-1, the right-hander left with the to a loud standing ovation from the Fenway Park crowd.
Craig Breslow entered from the bullpen. But the left-hander quickly made things interesting. He hit No. 9 batter Cliff Pennington with a pitch and gave up a single to Gerardo Parra to load the bases.
That was enough for Farrell, who called for Junichi Tazawa. The right-hander gave up a run-scoring single by Aaron Hill to left field. But left fielder Jonny Gomes – as has been his was recently in late innings – played a crucial role in foiling the Diamondbacks rally.
With Pennington attempting to score behind Nieves, Gomes fired a one-hop strike to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was waiting with the ball to tag out Pennington, who didn’t even attempt a slide.
Tazawa then struck out the dangerous Paul Goldschmidt (lead-off home run in the fourth) and got Eric Chavez to fly out to Gomes, ending the threat.
Koji Uehara entered for the ninth inning, looking for his 10th save of the season. He gave up a lead-off walk to Martin Prado. It was the first walk Uehara had issued since July 3, 13 appearances and 14 1/3 innings prior to Saturday night. It was also his first walk in a save situation this season.
And, It was also the first walk he had allowed to begin an inning since Aug. 6, 2011, against the Indians while with the Rangers, a span of 107 games.
But Uehara got Cody Ross to ground into a double play, erasing Prado at second base. And Jason Kubel grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, ending the game, securing the Sox 5-2 win.
Uehara got his 10th save, and Peavy got the win as the Sox beat the D’backs, 5-2.
· The Sox improved to 4-2 on their current 7-game homestand, with the finale Sunday afternoon against the Diamondbacks. They are 6-2 in their last eight games. .They are 8-3 in Interleague play this season. They improved to 8-5 all-time against the D’backs.
· Jarrod Saltalamacchia went 1-for-4 with his 10th home run of the year, a two-run shot in the eighth inning. He has hit 10 or more home runs in each of the last three seasons with the Sox, tying Rich Gedman for the fourth-most double-digit home run seasons by a Sox catcher. Eight of Saltalamacchia’s 10 home runs this season have come at Fenway Park.
· Jacoby Ellsbury went 1-for-4 with a go-ahead RBI single in the bottom of the seventh, extending his hit streak to nine games. During that stretch he is hitting .317, going 13-for-41, with two doubles, a triple, a home run, and six runs scored. He has hit safely in all 11 of the Sox interleague games this season, batting .458 (22-for-48). Ellsbury has a 14-game interleague hit streak dating back to June 30, 2011, in which his is batting .459 (28-for-61). It is the longest interleague hit streak by a Sox batter since Kevin Youkilis also hit in 14 straight from 16-22, 2008. Ellsbury stole his 40th base of the season in the seventh inning, marking the third 40-steal season of his career. He had 50 in 2008 and a team-record 70 in 2009. He and Tris Speaker are the only players to record three 40-steal seasons with the Sox.
· Koji Uehara has made 11 straight scoreless appearances, spanning 13.0 innings pitched since July 9, with 17 strikeouts and just one walk in that time. Over his last 25 games since June 10, Uehara is 2-0 with a 0.35 ERA, giving up one earned run in 26 innings, with three walks, 36 strikeouts and a .094 opponent’s average (8-for-85). In that time he has nine saves and two blown saves.
· Shane Victorino went 2-for-3 with a home run, his seventh of the season, and two RBI.
· David Ortiz went 1-for-4, extending his hit streak to seven games, during which he is hitting .300, going 10-for-30. He has reached base safely in his last 17 games, going 21-for-66 (.318) in that stretch.
· Stephen Drew went 2-for-3 off Patrick Corbin, the first time this season he has had multiple hits off a left-handed starter. It was his second straight multi-hit performance and third in his last f games. Over his last eight games since July 27, he is 13-for-33 (.394) after going 2-for-4 with a run tonight.
· Left-hander Franklin Morales went 2 1/3 scoreless innings in his rehab outing with Triple-A Pawtucket. He threw 26 pitches, 18 for strikes, with three strikeouts in the PawSox loss at Buffalo.