BOSTON – In his Red Sox debut, Jake Peavy had the unenviable duty of being matched up against Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin. But, Peavy was up to the challenge, earning the win as the Sox beat the Diamondbacks, 5-2, at Fenway Park Saturday night.
The two nearly matched each other pitch for pitch. Through five innings Corbin, a National League Cy Young candidate, had given up one run on five hits and a walk with six strikeouts. He threw 78 pitches, 54 for strikes. Through five innings, Peavy had given up one run on two hits with two walks and six strikeouts. He threw 69 pitches, 46 strikes.
Each run allowed came on a home run. The Diamondbacks took the lead on Paul Goldschmidt’s 26th home run of the season leading off the fourth. The Sox tied the score with one out in the fifth on Shane Victorino’s seventh home run of the season.
Peavy earned the win improving to 9-4 with a 4.14 ERA (combined between the White Sox and Red Sox). He went seven innings (plus one batter), giving up two runs on four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts and a home run.
Koji Uehara pitched a scoreless ninth for his 10th save.
The Sox missed a good opportunity to do more damage off Corbin in the second when the loaded the bases with one out. It was the first time this season Corbin, making his 22nd start had loaded the bases with less than two outs.
But they got to Corbin in the seventh when Stephen Drew, Brandon Snyder, and Jacoby Ellsbury opened the inning with consecutive singles to score a run. That stretch also ended Corbin’s outing. He went six innings (plus three batters) giving up three runs on eight this and two walks with six strikeouts, a home run, and two wild pitches. He had given up just one run in each of his last four starts. His record fell to 12-3, with a 2.33 ERA.
Will Harris entered, giving up a sacrifice fly to Shane Victorino to score Brock Holt, pinch-running for Snyder, giving the Sox a 3-1 lead.
But the D’backs cut the lead in the eighth. Will Nieves led off with a single, ending the outing for Peavy, who walked off to a loud standing ovation.
Left-hander Craig Breslow entered, loading the bases when he hit Cliff Pennington with a pitch and gave up a single to Gerardo Parra.
Junichi Tazawa entered giving up a first-pitch single to Aaron Hill to left field, with Nieves scoring. But left fielder Jonny Gomes threw a laser to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia who was waiting with the tag for Pennington, who didn’t even attempt a slide. Tazawa then struck out Goldschmidt and got Eric Chavez to fly out, ending the Arizona threat.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s two-run home run in the eighth, scoring Mike Napoli who had walked, gave the Sox enough of a lead to eliminate the need for any ninth-inning dramatics in this game.
STAR OF THE GAME: Jake Peavy
In his Red Sox debut, Peavy, acquired Tuesday from the White Sox, went seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts and a home run to earn the win. His record improved to 9-4 with a 4.14 ERA.
HONORABLE MENTION: Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Saltalamacchia went 1-for-4 with his 10th home run of the season, a two-run shot into the Sox bullpen in the eighth inning, giving the Sox a three-run lead. Eight of his 10 home runs have come at Fenway Park.
THE GOAT: Patrick Corbin
Corbin, a candidate for the National League Cy Young Award, went six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and two walks with six strikeouts and a home run. He had given up just one run in each of his last four starts. He took the loss, falling to 12-3, with 2.33 ERA.
THE TURNING POINT
Corbin started the seventh inning, but allowed the first three Sox batters to reach base, before departing. Two of those three scored, providing the difference in the game.
BY THE NUMBERS: 4-for-10
Sox left-handed batters, Jacoby Ellsbury, David Ortiz, and Stephen Drew, combined to go 4-for-10 (.400) against Corbin, who entered the game allowing lefties to hit just .161 against him.
QUOTE OF NOTE
"Truly from the bottom of my heart, something I'll never forget. To be welcomed that way, it was something special." -- Jake Peavy, on the standing ovation he received as he left the field in the top of the 8th inning.