Jake Peavy Takes Mound, Stephen Drew Looks to Keep Hot Bat As Red Sox Take on Royals

jake peavyJake Peavy‘s debut for the Red Sox was everything the team had hoped for and more, as the righty surrendered only two runs on four hits through seven strong innings. The team will call Peavy’s number again on Friday, hoping he can deliver a similar performance against a surging Kansas City Royals team that took the first game of the series on Thursday.

Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and shortstop Stephen Drew were the only Boston hitters who had some success at the plate in Thursday’s 5-1 loss, as the pair accounted for four of the Sox’ seven hits. Ellsbury and Drew, who will hit first and seventh in the lineup, respectively, will look to use those hot bats against Royals starter Ervin Santana (8-6, 2.97 ERA). Drew has hit the ball particularly well of late, as the shortstop is riding a nine-game hitting streak. During that streak, the switch-hitter is 15-for-32 (.469) with two home runs, eight RBIs and nine walks, with six multi-hit efforts.

Daniel Nava, who returned to action Thursday after taking a paternity leave, will get the start in right field and hit fifth behind designated hitter David Ortiz. Nava was 1-for-3 in his first game for the Red Sox as a father. Mike Napoli will follow Nava in the order and get the start at first. Napoli finally broke out of his hitless streak on Thursday with a 1-for-4 effort, but he is still struggling to get comfortable at the dish. The first baseman has recorded only one hit in his previous 19 at-bats.

Brock Holt is also battling a slump of his own at  the plate, as the third baseman is 3-for-25 dating back to July 19. Holt will get the start at the hot corner and bat ninth, but his job might soon be in jeopardy, as there has been much speculation that young phenom Xander Bogaerts isn’t too far from a call-up to the show.

Check out the lineups for both teams below.

Boston Red Sox (70-47)

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Daniel Nava, LF
Mike Napoli, 1B
Stephen Drew, SS
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Brock Holt, 3B

Jake Peavy, RHP

Kansas City Royals (59-53)

David Lough, RF
Eric Hosmer, 1B
Billy Butler, DH
Alex Gordon, LF
Justin Maxwell, CF
Mike Moustakas, 3B
Alcides Escobar, SS
George Kottaras, C
Ellitot Johnson, 2B

Ervin Santana, RHP

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