Final, 5-2 Red Sox: That’s how the Sox do it these days.
Koji Uehara, who showed last inning that he could double as an outfielder, worked an almost-clean ninth to seal the win for Boston. He gave Martin Prado first base but then got two groundouts — the second one a double play — to close it out.
A win looked like a tall task for the Red Sox for much of the game, with Patrick Corbin clipping along in the beginning, but Shane Victorino’s homer in the fifth created a fissure, and the Red Sox’ seventh-inning rally opened it up. Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s insurance home run in the eighth took care of the rest.
The big story of today, though, is Jake Peavy, who lived up to his billing in Boston. Peavy was terrific, giving up just four hits and two earned runs (the second coming with Craig Breslow on the mound). He struck out seven, but most importantly, the Diamondbacks never looked comfortable as he worked his repertoire and went deep into the game.
Of course, Peavy’s strong first start came against a National League team, but he’ll have his chance in the American League for his next start. National League or not, Arizona has shown it can slug, and Peavy’s night can’t be discounted.
The Red Sox have evened up this series, with the rubber match tomorrow at 1:35 p.m. We’ll see you then.
End 8th, 5-2 Red Sox: Stephen Drew struck out, and Brock Holt grounded out. This one heads to the ninth, with Koji Uehara coming in to polish it off.
9:59 p.m.: Jarrod Saltalamacchia can hit home runs, and Koji Uehara can catch ’em, too.
Saltalamacchia made up for an 0-for-3 night with a boomer to center field off David Hernandez that fell into the Red Sox’ bullpen. Uehara, who was warming up for what was a one-run game, caught the homer as it went over the fence.
Saltalamacchia’s blast scored Mike Napoli, who reached on a walk.
Tony Sipp is coming in for the Diamondbacks.
Mid 8th, 3-2 Red Sox: Jonny Gomes saved a run — and maybe the game — for the Red Sox.
Aaron Hill yanked a single into left off Junichi Tazawa, and Wil Nieves scored. But Cliff Pennington’s chug into home plate following Nieves was stopped by Gomes’ arm. Gomes fired a great relay to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who tagged Pennington out standing up.
Junichi Tazawa then struck out Paul Goldschmidt on a low-and-away four-seamer.
He polished off the inning by inducing a fly ball from Eric Chavez that also fell into Jonny Gomes’ mitt.
9:40 p.m.: Junichi Tazawa has come on in relief for Craig Breslow.
The bases are now loaded, and things could get dicey for the Red Sox very quickly.
After the Wil Nieves single to start the inning, Craig Breslow hit Cliff Pennington with a pitch. He then gave up a Gerardo Parra single through short.
9:33 p.m.: The Red Sox had Craig Breslow and Junichi Tazawa warming up as Jake Peavy came out to start the eighth, and Breslow gets the call.
John Farrell has motioned for relief after Peavy gave up a single to Wil Nieves on his 99th pitch of the night.
Peavy gave up just four hits. He had seven strikeouts in seven innings — which means 1,321 Ks in 1,321 innings against National League batters. Symmetry.
The crowd gave Peavy a big hand as he left, and he tipped his cap.
End 7th, 3-1 Red Sox: David Ortiz pops up to second, and that will end the inning, but Boston has the two-run edge in this one.
Corbin ends up giving up six hits and three earned runs. He also had two wild pitches.
That’s the most runs Corbin has given up since a month ago, July 2, when he allowed five earned.
9:27 p.m.: Shane Victorino is the man for the moment tonight. He hit a deep sacrifice fly to score Brock Holt from third, and the Red Sox have an insurance run.
Dustin Pedroia had a seven-pitch at-bat next, and although he struck out, he worked it long enough that Jacoby Ellsbury stole second on the final strike.
Lefty Joe Thatcher is coming in to pitch for Arizona now with two outs and a man on second. The Red Sox lead 3-1.
9:18 p.m.: Jacoby Ellsbury has looked pretty bad tonight, but he got it back with one good swing this inning.
Ellsbury popped one into center that just fell in for a hit. Stephen Drew and Brock Holt, who were on base with zero outs, had to hoof it when the ball dropped, but Drew scored and Holt moved up to third on the single. Holt was on base because he was pinch running for Brandon Snyder, who got on base and moved Drew to third on a long single off the wall.
Ellsbury was close to striking out again in his at-bat. He went after another low-and-away pitch, which has been Patrick Corbin’s go-to tonight. But he hung in there and got the hit in the fifth pitch of the at-bat.
Will Harris is coming in to pitch for the Diamondbacks. The Red Sox have finally bounced Corbin and can do some damage. Corbin threw 100 pitches and struck out six.
Mid 7th, 1-1: Jake Peavy and Mike Napoli make a nice tandem when it comes to plays at first. They recorded another out together to end the inning, with Napoli making a nice play and flipping back to Peavy.
Martin Prado and Cody Ross both grounded out, too.
Peavy has thrown 98 pitches now.
End 6th, 1-1: Arizona wrapped up that inning quick. Patrick Corbin got Jarrod Saltalamacchia to ground into a double play, erasing Mike Napoli’s walk and sewing up the frame. Jonny Gomes also flied out to center in that inning.
Peavy is headed out for what may be his last inning. He did throw 118 pitches in his last outing, which was way back on July 25 with the White Sox. He’s a reliable arm who can go more than 100 pitches easily, but this is also a guy coming back from a rib injury just a few weeks ago.
Peavy came into this game with a history of success against the Diamondbacks. According to the good old Red Sox game notes, he has more games, wins, innings pitched and strikeouts against Arizona than any other MLB team. He also hadn’t pitched against the Diamondbacks since 2009, though, when he was with the Padres and got all those great numbers.
Peavy also has a chance to keep up a pretty interesting statistic tonight. Peavy had 1,314 Ks in exactly 1,314 innings pitched against National League teams coming into this game. He has seven strikeouts tonight in six innings pitched, so he’s right on track to end with a 1:1 ratio.
Mid 6th, 1-1: Yikes. Stephen Drew has some legs. The Red Sox had a shift on against Eric Chavez in that at-bat, and Drew had some serious running to do to come into foul territory on the third base line and catch Chavez’z popup. But catch it he did, and Peavy and the Red Sox have another scoreless inning on the board.
Gerardo Parra struck out to start things off, then Aaron Hill singled. Paul Goldschmidt hit a ball to right that looked like it might drop, but Shane Victorino made the snag.
Peavy has thrown 87 pitches, so it looks like he should have at least one inning left in him.
End 5th, 1-1: Shane Victorino cures all ills.
The Flyin’ Hawaiian popped his second hit of the night on the second pitch of his at-bat, and it was a good one. Victorino lofted a homer into the Monster seats to tie the game up.
Dustin Pedroia made some good contact in the next at-bat, too, but his poke was right at the center fielder for the second out. Jacoby Ellsbury and David Ortiz provided the other two outs on grounders where Patrick Corbin got the best of them and their bats.
Mid 5th, 1-0 Diamondbacks: Jake Peavy is jawing out there, but most of it appears to be a conversation with Jake Peavy.
Peavy ended that inning by ringing up Cliff Pennington, and that strikeout came on the advice of none other than Peavy, who was talking in animated tones to himself throughout the at-bat. Peavy has promised that he would be full of life on the mound, and it’s working for the most part — Peavy has only given up two hits tonight and has six strikeouts.
Jason Kubel struck out to start that inning, and Wil Nieves grounded out.
End 4th, 1-0 Diamondbacks: Patrick Corbin knows how to get these Red Sox out. Some of the right-handers are getting to his fastball, but they haven’t been able to square it up. Jonny Gomes ripped a hard foul down the third base line in the fourth after Napoli yanked one in the same spot last inning.
Gomes ended up flying out to center, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia was retired to right. Brandon Snyder bit on a pitch that was in what appears to be Corbin’s place to get guys out — down and to the right. He swung and missed badly to end the inning.
Stephen Drew had a single mixed in.
Mid 4th, 1-0 Diamondbacks: Arizona is on the board, and it was on a pitch that was absolutely pasted by Paul Goldschmidt. He blasted one into the seats just behind the center field triangle for the first run of the game.
Offense has been hard to come by so far in this game, and the Red Sox have to be kicking themselves for not getting anything across after putting five guys on base over two. Corbin doesn’t allow tons of baserunners — that bases-loaded second inning was the first time this season he’s had the bases loaded with less than two outs, according to Comcast SportsNet’s Maureen Mullen. The Sox have to score in those situations.
Peavy got Eric Chavez to ground out, Martin Prado to fly out and Cody Ross to fly out to shallow right to keep the damage to one run.
End 3rd, 0-0: Patrick Corbin is working his outside-away pitches well tonight. He got Jacoby Ellsbury to whiff on one to start the frame then got Ortiz to strike out on a check swing in the same spot. With a Mike Napoli popup mixed in, that’s another bagel in Boston. The Sox left two men on base.
Jacoby Ellsbury has great interleague stats, but he has not looked good so far tonight. He just chased a low, outside offering and was left flailing for the first out.
Ellsbury has hit safely in all 10 interleague games for the Red Sox (7-3 against National League teams) this year at a .477 clip. Another Sox player who is pretty great in interleague play is Dustin Pedroia, who has batted .335 — the fifth-best interleague average all-time — against the National League. (Caveat that must be included: Interleague hasn’t been around forever.)
Pedroia kept his success alive in the bottom of the third, punching one to short that was hard enough to handle that Victorino, who got on base on a single to left, beat out the force at second. Ortiz couldn’t move them along, though, and Napoli, who ripped one just foul down left field line on the first pitch he saw, was retired, too.
Mid 3rd, 0-0: Jake Peavy lost his no-hit bid there, but he’s still carrying the Sox in his debut.
Peavy gave up a single to Wil Nieves and then recorded a big strikeout of Cliff Pennington one pitch after Pennington nearly took him deep. Pennington sent a long one down the right field line, but it drifted just foul, and Peavy punched him out with the next pitch. He also struck out Aaron Hill to end the frame.
Peavy has been using his whole bag of tricks tonight — two-seamer, four-seamer, curveball, changeup, slider, cutter. He got Pennington to strike out on a cutter and Hill on a slider.
Peavy also retired Gerardo Parro to leave another side scoreless.
End 2nd, 0-0: If they aren’t paying David Ortiz more for his baserunning this season, they should be. Big Papi is ridiculous on the infield dirt this year.
For a guy who is coming off an Achilles injury, Ortiz has been pretty aggressive on the basepaths — but he’s also been successful. He has four stolen bases this year, a career-high. And that’s not counting the times he’s tagged up to grab an extra bag or what happened in this frame, when he scampered over to second on a wild pitch to Mike Napoli.
It was all for naught, though. The Sox loaded the bases with the help of an error but couldn’t get a run in.
Ortiz started it with a line drive to right that dropped for a single. Napoli followed that by taking a few pitches near his knees and ankles, one of which went through for the wild pitch that advanced Ortiz. Napoli ended up walking.
Jonny Gomes struck out, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia got himself on base, too, when second baseman Aaron Hill couldn’t handle his grounder up the middle. Hill bobbled the ball then couldn’t get a clean throw to second, where Napoli slid over the bag and then crawled back to keep all men safe.
Stephen Drew then struck out swinging. Brandon Snyder got some wood on a slicing hit to right field, but Cody Ross made the grab to retire the Sox.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Jake Peavy isn’t giving up hits and runs, but he is walking some guys.
Peavy gave up his second free pass to Martin Prado in that inning on what was a somewhat humorous sequence. Prado thought he had the walk after fifth pitch and started taking off the protective paraphernalia on his knee, but the ump called a strike on a check swing instead. It wasn’t much of a check swing, but perhaps it was a makeup call for the Dustin Pedroia out.
Prado went to first on the next pitch, but Peavy got Cody Ross to fly out to center. Couple that with an Eric Chavez popup to start the inning and a Jason Kubel strikeout, and it’s another clean frame for Peavy. He’s had two nice strikeouts tonight.
End 1st, 0-0: The Red Sox went down one-two-three in that inning, but it’s a rare game when the Boston bats don’t eventually come out.
Some perspective from the Red Sox game notes from today: Boston is first in Major League Baseball with 559 runs, 538 RBIs, 242 doubles, 348 extra base hits and 1,695 total bases. Their .344 OBP, .784 OPS, 1,053 hits, 26 triples, 395 walks and 83 stolen bases are second in MLB.
Not bad for a team that was supposed to have lost a lot of offensive firepower heading into this season.
For this inning, Jacoby Ellsbury struck out swinging, Shane Victorino bounced out to third and Dustin Pedroia was called out on a roller to short. “Called out” is the key phrase there — Pedroia was steaming down the basepaths and looked like he beat the throw (or at least got there at the same time). Alas, it was out No. 3.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Jake Peavy looks good one inning into his Red Sox tenure.
Peavy got Gerardo Parra to fly out to center to start things off, then he punched out Alex Hill on just four pitches, using his fastball to do the damage.
Peavy walked Paul Goldschmidt next, but he got a good hand from his batterymate, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, in retiring him on the basepaths just two pitches later. Peavy burned a strike past Eric Chavez then hung a ball inside that was right to Saltalamacchia’s throwing hand. Salty caught the offering and fired a gem to second base, with the tag falling right on top of Goldschmidt before he could make it to the bag on his steal attempt.
7:12 p.m.: First pitch flies at 7:10, and it’s Sox-D’backs time at the Fens.
6:55 p.m.: We’re getting close here at Fenway Park. It’s an absolutely beautiful night.
Jake Peavy has had a few days to get used to working for the Red Sox, and manager John Farrell said in his pregame press conference this afternoon that he’s been using the time well. Peavy has been preparing for his first start with Boston by talking a lot with catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and he also spent last night’s game against the Diamondbacks in the clubhouse, charting the game.
“That’s conversation only — firsthand experience will start to unfold tonight,” Farrell said.
Prep work was also something Peavy talked about Thursday when he was introduced by the Red Sox.
One area he spoke about at length was how he was looking forward to working with the other veterans on Boston’s staff. He mentioned Ryan Dempster, John Lackey and Clay Buchholz by name, saying that while Buchholz may be younger — and with “more upside” — than Dempster, Lackey and himself, he’s hoping they can all work together and push each other.
“But I think us three, especially Demp and Lackey, we do a lot of things alike,” he said Thursday. “We’re kind of in the same parts of our career. I think we can feed and really help each other as far as preparation and in-game adjustments and stuff.”
He was also asked Thursday about his view of Dempster, who pitched for the crosstown Cubs while Peavy pitched for the White Sox. He said he didn’t get to see Dempster much but did respect what he saw.
“Playing against Ryan, even in the National League, I’ve always had a big respect for Ryan and what he had done — coming through some health issues, being a starter, being a closer,” he said. “That takes some mental toughness, so you admire that from afar. You talk in passing and then over the last few years, we had gotten a bit closer and I look forward to doing nothing but growing our friendship as well. Like I said, I think me, him and Lack have a lot to offer one another, with our stuff, with how comparable I think a lot of what we do on the mound is and being at the same point in our careers.”
Let’s see how the prep work pays off tonight.
4:30 p.m.: John Farrell talked a little more about Rubby De La Rosa in his pregame press conference. He said De La Rosa’s call-up was similar to Steven Wright’s on Thursday — having a starter come up gives the Red Sox a long relief option in case they need it during tonight’s game.
He acknowledged that De La Rosa being in the minors for much of the season may have been rough for the righty, who has started for the Dodgers before.
“This is a guy that’s got tremendous stuff that fills a need we have right now,” Farrell said.
Farrell also said that Franklin Morales will be given a day off tomorrow so as not to go back-to-back games, with the Red Sox looking to give him a more extended outing today.
4 p.m.: It sounds like Rubby De La Rosa is finally going to get another taste of the big leagues with the Red Sox.
De La Rosa has been called up to take Pedro Beato’s roster spot, according to multiple reports. Whether De La Rosa gets any game action is still very much a question, but Boston fans hankering to see the next generation of the Red Sox — and what exactly the Sox got back from the Dodgers in last August’s trade — could soon be rewarded.
De La Rosa was called up June 14 but did not pitch for the Red Sox. In Triple-A, he has started 20 games, pitching 76 2/3 innings with a 3-3 record, 4.23 ERA and 1.36 WHIP.
3:40 p.m.: For the Diamondbacks today:
Gerardo Parra, CF
Aaron Hill, 2B
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
Eric Chavez, DH
Martin Prado, 3B
Cody Ross, RF
Jason Kubel, LF
Wil Nieves, C
Cliff Pennington, SS
Patrick Corbin, P
3:35 p.m.: Batting practice seems to have both teams practicing a little more than batting today. The Diamondbacks are playing a mashup of football and long toss in left field as players filter onto the field, and Boston’s Ryan Dempster was getting some time on the basepaths around second base a few minutes ago. The Diamondbacks’ football game is actually sort of fun to watch — guys are sprinting out a couple of hundred feet, and then a teammate is chucking them an orange Nerf football. Maybe they could schedule some practices with the Cardinals?
David Ross is also on the field in his catcher’s gear. He’s working his way back from a 60-day disabled list stay due to concussion symptoms. He last played June 14. He may not be getting game action anytime soon, but he’s making some progress in getting back into everyday baseball activities.
3:25 p.m.: The Red Sox, facing the left-handed Patrick Corbin, are sending out a righty lineup today. Jonny Gomes will take over left field, and Brandon Snyder gets the start at third base.
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Brandon Snyder, 3B
Jake Peavy, P
2:10 p.m.: We’re getting ready for all things Peavy today. The new Sox pitcher has promised some emotion on the mound, and Boston could use it after getting edged by a run — and a former fan favorite (Cody Ross) — last night at Fenway.
Here’s some reading to get you tuned up for Peavy’s first start: Peavy was particularly relishing becoming part of the Red Sox’ culture when he was introduced Thursday. He talked about “evolving” as a pitcher and how he’s grown since being a Cy Young winner. He also has terrible eyesight.
Finally, we take a look at the many familiar faces Peavy is reuniting with in Boston, and why this town could be the perfect fit for his much-talked-about passion.
8 a.m. ET: Jake Peavy sounded pretty excited to pitch in Fenway Park when he was introduced by the Red Sox on Thursday. He gets his first chance Saturday night.
Peavy (8-4, 4.28 ERA) takes the ball as the Red Sox (66-45) look to continue a strong homestand against the Arizona Diamondbacks (56-53). Interestingly, the D-backs were the other team in contention for Peavy at the trade deadline, and Arizona will get to see firsthand what it missed out on during Saturday evening’s game.
Patrick Corbin (12-2, 2.24) gets the ball for Arizona. He’s been lights-out this season (Arizona is 18-3 in his starts), and his second loss of the season, on July 28, came despite pitching eight innings of one-run ball. Run support is not always the Diamondbacks’ forte.
It all starts at 6 p.m. with Red Sox First Pitch, and the actual first pitch will go at 7:05. Keep it here for all the news, updates and analysis you need going into this one.