All of the run support in the world wouldn’t have helped Jake Peavy on Tuesday as the Boston Red Sox fell to the Seattle Mariners 8-2 at Safeco Field.
OK, technically, nine runs would have done the trick. But you get the point.
Peavy, who has been victimized by low run support all season, didn’t give the Red Sox’s offense a chance to play spoiler. The right-hander stumbled out of the gate and then face-planted in the fifth inning en route to a seven-run yield.
The Mariners jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Kyle Seager delivered an RBI double that kicked off the first base bag and Logan Morrison added a sacrifice fly.
Endy Chavez, who cleared the bases with a triple in Monday’s win, extended Seattle’s lead to 3-0 in the second inning with his second three-bagger of the series. Chavez finished with a game-high three hits.
The Red Sox appeared to receive a shot in the arm from — who else? — Brock Holt in the fourth inning. Holt crushed a 2-0 fastball from Erasmo Ramirez into the right field seats for a two-run homer, and Peavy breezed through the bottom half of the inning on eight pitches.
“You have to try to hold it there to 3-2,” Peavy said. “We did, we had some good innings — to the point where I was putting myself into position to pitch deep in the game, to go six, seven innings there.”
Things fell apart at the seams for Peavy in the fifth inning, though.
Chavez led off with a bunt that bounced past the mound and out toward second base, where Dustin Pedroia failed to make a barehanded play. James Jones then hit a ground ball that the Red Sox nearly turned into two outs, but Jones beat out a bang-bang play at first base. The Red Sox challenged the call, but the initial ruling was upheld.
Peavy couldn’t recover from the near-double play. Robinson Cano singled into right field, and Seager followed with a three-run jack down the right field line. Mike Zunino made it 7-2 with a towering solo blast to left field.
“The ballgame gets away from you when you try to be too, too fine,” Peavy said. “You’re trying to save every last run you can save. You try to throw a cutter (to Seager) and you overthrow it and it stays middle in. The ballgame’s out of hand (at that point).”
Peavy entered the contest having received just 3.17 runs of support per game — the second-lowest mark among qualifying American League pitchers. It’s an unfortunate reality for Peavy that, in some instances, has prevented him from capturing his elusive second win of the season.
But the veteran pitcher also has struggled through some shaky outings, like Tuesday’s, in which long balls have been especially problematic. Peavy is tied with Tampa Bay’s David Price for tops in the AL with 16 home runs allowed. Peavy has allowed at least one home run in 13 of his 16 starts this season.
“It’s not fun,” Peavy said. “None of it’s fun about getting beat, especially when you don’t do your job and get beat. It’s just frustrating. There’s no other way to say it.”
Peavy and the Red Sox simply haven’t been able to find a winning formula this season. Sometimes, that has involved Peavy being a hard-luck loser.
Tuesday was not one of those times.