Peavy start marred by fourth-inning walks

Peavy start marred by fourth-inning walks
May 1, 2014, 7:30 pm
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BOSTON -- Jake Peavy knew he'd have to be fine with his pitches in the fourth inning, but that attempted precision contributed to giving the Rays the game-winning run in their 2-1 victory Wednesday afternoon.

After a leadoff double allowed to Desmond Jennings, Matt Joyce moved Jennings to third with a fielder's choice.
 
An Evan Longoria strikeout gave Peavy two outs and some leeway to nibble. He walked No. 5 hitter James Loney on four pitches.

"I was being real careful with Loney," Peavy said of the lefty hitter. "Had no problems putting him on to face Myers there, a righthanded hitter. Because you knew with the way the game was playing out that a run could possibly be the game. The games we play with Tampa, we all know how tight the games we play. Trying to save that run (Jennings) there. Got a big strikeout with Longoria. Put Loney on to face Myers."

That's when things got dicey. Myers nearly fouled out to right fielder Shane Victorino, but the ball leaked into the first row of the stands by Pesky Pole. Myers eventually worked a walk, loading the bases.

David DeJesus, who homered off of Peavy on a ball wrapped tightly around the right-field pole the inning prior, earned another free pass -- Peavy's third of the inning. DeJesus saw eight pitches, scoring Jennings from third.

The Myers at-bat is what haunted Peavy, though, since he was up in the count to the Rays outfielder, 0-2.

"Can't happen," Peavy said simply. "I got out-pitched."

Peavy walked four on the afternoon, his fourth start out of six this season with that many bases on balls issued.

Asked if Peavy was trying to be too careful with his pitches to lead to walks, Farrell agreed that at times Peavy tries to place his breaking pitches perfectly and can miss the strike zone as a result.

The number of walks didn't bother Farrell. More concerning was the succession in which they took place.

"I think inside that inning, [Peavy] gets ahead of Myers 0-2, tries to put him away, and he ends up with the walk when he was in command of that at-bat," Farrell said. "Then he follows that up with another walk to DeJesus. The timeliness of the walks -- to bunch them together, that's where it comes back to haunt us a little bit."

But in the first game of a day-night doubleheader, Peavy did what the Red Sox asked him to do. He went 6.1 innings, saving the bullpen from being overtaxed going into Game 2.

Chris Capuano finished off the seventh inning while Burke Badenhop and Andrew Miller tossed one inning each.

"I thought [Peavy] pitched another very strong outing for us," Farrell said. "The fourth inning, they pushed him for the 35-pitch inning, uncharacteristic of three walks inside of that in particular frame.

"You don't think back in the fourth inning [that] a bases on balls to drive in a run is gonna be the difference. We again continue to create a number of opportunities for ourselves. We had a chance to tack on in the first. Then seventh, eighth and ninth, we've got the tying run in scoring position. Base hit with runners in scoring position is elusive."
 
The Red Sox had myriad chances to salvage Peavy's solid start, but they left 11 runners on base.
 
For Peavy's part, he believed the Red Sox actually scored a second run. Dustin Pedroia was called out on a play at the plate in the seventh inning, and Dale Scott's umpiring crew kept it off the board after a replay review was deemed inconclusive.
 
"Anytime you lose it's frustrating," Peavy said. "Really frustrating when you lose and you feel like we did score two runs in the ballgame. That's the thing that I'm having a hard time with right now."