Jake Peavy needed a strong start to get the Red Sox back on the winning track, and after his offense put up a five-spot on David Price in the top of the first, it looked like it would be smooth sailing to Peavy’s second win of the year.
The Boston righthander wasn’t able to get any consistency through the game, however, and while he didn’t pitch terribly, his stuff wasn’t his best on Saturday, as the 5-0 lead he had before he even stepped on the mound was completely erased after he left it for the final time after the sixth.
Peavy ran into some trouble in the bottom of the second, when Brandon Guyer and Desmond Jennings hit back-to-back one-out singles, and Logan Forsythe hit a sacrifice fly to score Guyer for the first Tampa Bay run of the day. Peavy then walked Yunel Escobar on four pitches to put two on with two outs, but got Jose Molina to fly out to right to end the inning.
Peavy retired the Rays 1-2-3 in the third inning, getting some help from Brock Holt on an over the shoulder grab near the Red Sox bullpen in foul territory for the last out of the frame.
The Tropicana Field artificial turf decided to have some fun with Holt in the fourth inning, as balls hit by Guyer and Forsythe both bounced high off the turf and over the head of Brock Holt, with the latter resulting in Guyer scoring the second Rays run of the afternoon. Peavy then got Escobar to fly out to centerfield to end the inning with the Red Sox still leading 5-2.
Three Tampa hits in a row in the fifth got the Rays to within two as Longoria singled home DeJesus to make it 5-3. A two-out double by Guyer brought the Rays all the way back to tie the game 5-5.
Peavy was finished after six innings, throwing 99 pitches – 68 of them for strikes – as Craig Breslow came on to pitch for the Red Sox.
Peavy’s final line was six innings, allowing five runs, all earned, on eight hits with one walk and five strikeouts; his season ERA of 4.33 coming into the game rose to 4.65 afterwards.
Peavy has now thrown at least six innings in five of his last six starts. His next outing looks to be next Thursday at Fenway, as the Red Sox play the fourth game of their home-and-home series with the Atlanta Braves.