It wasn’t as good as his last outing, when he allowed just one run over six innings, but Jake Peavy pitched pretty well on Thursday as the Red Sox dropped another close game, this time 4-2 at the hands of Scott Kazmir and the Oakland A’s.
The A’s quickly threatened by getting the first two runners on in the bottom of the first, but Peavy got Yoenis Cespedes to fly out to center for the first out, then Brandon Moss lined out to Stephen Drew, who doubled up Coco Crisp at second to end the inning.
Oakland got on the board in the second inning, as their first two runners reached for the second time in as many innings. On a grounder back to Peavy, he threw to third to get the lead runner, but it appeared to catch Xander Bogaerts off guard, as the third baseman threw wildly to first to try and complete the double play, allowing runners to move up to second and third. Jed Lowrie scored from third on a Stephen Vogt groundout to put Oakland up 1-0.
Peavy looked like he was going to get out of it in the third, but with two outs he hung a 0-1 fastball high to Cespedes, who crushed it to deep left center field for a solo homer that made it 2-0.
After Lowrie doubled with one out in the fourth, Peavy struck out Derek Norris, Vogt was able to bloop a single to center, and with two outs Lowrie was running and able to score easily for the third Oakland run of the ballgame. A groundout by Alberto Callaspo ended the fourth with the A’s up 3-0.
Peavy came back with a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth, aided by two barehand plays by Xander Bogaerts. The righthander sat at 91 pitches as the Sox headed off the field to end the frame.
After the Red Sox’ cut the A’s lead to 3-2 in the top of the sixth, Peavy made sure Oakland wouldn’t pull away any further, as Moss flew out to center, Josh Donaldson popped out to foul ground, and Jed Lowrie struck out looking.
Despite throwing 106 pitches through six frames, Peavy came back out for the seventh and got Norris to ground out to shortstop before issuing a walk to Vogt that ended his night. John Farrell brought in Chris Capuano to face Callaspo, who grounded into a fielder’s choice that saw Craig Gentry (pinch running for Vogt) retired at second. Coco Crisp walked to move Eric Sogard (pinch running for Callaspo) to second, and Jaso singled to center to drive in Sogard to make it 4-2 before the Sox got out of the inning.
Peavy threw a season-high 117 pitches in 6 1/3 innings on Thursday, allowing three earned runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
Cespedes’ third inning blast was the 14th home run Peavy allowed this year, second most in the AL behind David Price's 15 allowed. In 15 starts this season, only three times has he not allowed a roundtripper. The Sox starter had an overall successful outing on Thursday, but once again, the Boston bats could not do enough to get Peavy the win.