CLEVELAND -- The middle five innings were terrific for Jake Peavy.
It was the first and last that gave him so much trouble.
Peavy gave up hits to the first five hitters he faced in the first inning, then, after retiring 17 of the next 19 hitters he faced, began the seventh by allowing the last three hitters he faced to reach base, too.
Two of those baseunners came around to score, and provide the winning margin for the Cleveland Indians in a 5-3 loss for the Red Sox.
"I don't know if I've ever started a game with five straight hits (allowed),'' said Peavy, who allowed three runs in the first. "They were all singles and balls just perfectly placed. I felt like I made pitches there in the first no different than I did the rest of the game.
"For the most part, I didn't have anything to show for it.''
At one point, after the fifth hit in the first into the sixth, Peavy retired 16 of 17 hitters, with the only baserunner coming on a comenbacker by Yan Gomes in the second.
But after the Sox had tied the game for him in the top of the seventh, Peavy got himself into immediate trouble in the bottom of the inning, walking leadoff hitter David Murphy, then allowing a single to Gomes and a strange fielder's choice to Mike Aviles that loaded the bases.
"I made some pitches to Murphy,'' said Peavy. "Tough at-bat there.
He gets the walk and I'm trying to get Gomes to hit a ground ball and got him to do it, but it was in the (shortstop) hole.''
Peavy was at 94 pitches after six, but didn't second-guess John Farrell's decision to send him out for the seventh.
"I felt fine,'' said Peavy. "It could have been a different inning, but it just seems like it's been the story of my last month. We just can't seem to get the ball to bounce our way. Awfully tough losing.''
"We were in the bottom of the order,'' explained Farrell. "Righthanders coming up, he was at 94 pitches, had been settled into a very good rhythm and had made some very good pitches in the middle innings. At 94 pitches, he was still in good shape, I thought.''
"Tonight was a grind,'' said Peavy. "When you give up three before you get an out, it's a grind. It could have been as gratifying a start as I've had all year. And then it goes (from there) to how you feel now, in a hurry.''