Peavy uses variety of pitches to baffle Rangers

Peavy uses variety of pitches to baffle Rangers
April 9, 2014, 10:30 pm
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BOSTON -- No matter what combination of fingers Red Sox catcher David Ross threw down on Wednesday night, he knew Jake Peavy was going to execute the pitch.

It was one of those nights for Peavy who made one of his best starts in a Red Sox uniform, going 6.2 innings and striking out eight in Boston's 4-2 win over the Rangers.

The lone blemish on the scoreboard for the Red Sox righty came in the seventh inning when Texas first baseman Mitch Moreland blasted a 2-0 sinker over the bullpens in right field to tie the score, 1-1.

"I felt good," Peavy said. "I was happy to give us a chance to win. I wanted to do more. I got behind Mitch there and got a pitch up. I was frustrated I wasn't able to finish the seventh, but overall, I had good command of most stuff."

After a Shin-Soo Choo double on the first pitch of the game, Peavy's stuff baffled Texas hitters. Five of his eight strikeouts came with his slider. He also rung up Rangers using his splitter and his fastball.

"After Choo ambushed him first pitch of the game, he was pretty much unhittable," Ross said. "He didn't give up many runs. Just an all-around well-pitched game. Strike one was very consistent. Mixing his offspeed when he got in fastball counts. If he did fall behind he was able to get his breaking stuff over. I thought he did a phenomenal job."
It was Peavy's second quality start in as many tries through nine games this season. Against the Brewers on Opening Day at Fenway he threw six innings and allowed two runs but got a no-decision in the 6-2 loss.

Though Peavy won't get credit for the series finale win against Texas, manager John Farrell knows how well the 32-year-old righty has looked.

"When you've got three pitches for strikes, it's a day you're likely going to get through the lineup three times," Farrell said. "Keep the game in check, he's done that. He had a good cutter, good slider. As well as a couple of splits to their lefthanders. Any time you get a stopper with quality pitch-mix, he's gonna keep a lot of [hitters] in check, lefthanded or righthanded."

Peavy's near seven innings of work was made even more important due to the fact that the Red Sox bullpen was called upon to get 19 outs in Tuesday's 10-7 loss to Texas. Though many of those outs went to Brandon Workman -- who was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday -- it was nice to give the bulk of the team's relievers a breather.
Junichi Tazawa pitched one third of an inning on Wednesday. Andrew Miller came on for the eighth and allowed one run to make the score 2-1, but David Ortiz's eighth-inning, three-run blast gave Koji Uehara the save opportunity in the ninth which he nailed down in 12 pitches.

"What a gutsy -- we needed an outing like that when you're trying to get away and salvage a series," Ross said of his starter. "You got a guy like Jake Peavy taking the mound and doing that for us is big."