Boston had to face Oakland’s best starter in Scott Kazmir, and they were sending Jake Peavy to the mound, who has the second-lowest run support average in the American League. That and the fact that Boston’s offense has struggled mightily this season made this game seem doomed from the start.
But it could have been worse.
Peavy went 6 1/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits and three walks with four strikeouts in the Sox’s 4-2 loss. On paper, it looks like a worse start than his last one, in which he went six innings, giving up only one earned run on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts. But those stat lines don’t show how he got himself in two bases-loaded jams in his last start, while he settled down to finish out Thursday’s start in solid fashion.
As manager John Farrell put it after the game, “I thought Jake battled.”
Still, the Sox were no match for Kazmir and the Oakland bullpen, who were dealing. The fact that the Sox were able to put those two runs on the board against them is actually impressive. The A’s pitchers collectively struck out 10 Red Sox batters, and if it wasn’t for a two-run home run off the bat of Dustin Pedroia, they could have easily held them scoreless.
All in all, it was a tough loss for the Sox. They squared off against one of the best teams in the MLB and hung on, but they just couldn’t pull out the win.
Here are some more notes from Thursday’s loss.
— Peavy’s latest loss leaves him winless since April 25. While he’s been inconsistent at times, his lack of run support is a huge factor in that. His 3.20 run support average is only better than the Baltimore Orioles’ Ubaldo Jimenez in the American League.
Thursday was also the 10th time this season that Peavy has left a game either tied or leading or trailing by just one run.
— Peavy has had problems with giving up home runs, but maybe he shouldn’t feel as bad about the solo shot he gave up to Yoenis Cespedes on Thursday. Cespedes has now homered against every American League team except for the Tampa Bay Rays.
— Felix Doubront, who has been nursing a shoulder injury, will get his first start since May 20 on Friday. The Sox will option third baseman Garin Cecchini to make room for him.
— The A’s will send left-hander Brad Mills to the mound Friday. Mills hasn’t pitched at the major league level since 2012, and Oakland purchased him from the Milwaukee Brewers for exactly $1 on Wednesday.