Jake Peavy's second start with the Red Sox did not go nearly so well as his first, leaving his team 9-6 losers and in need of a two-game sweep to grab even a series split against the Royals.
When Peavy grooved a middle-high cutter with the Red Sox ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the second and Justin Maxwell took it out to left, the alarms did not sound. It was a bad pitch, yes, but all pitchers make mistakes at some point or another.
When Peavy proceeded to allow a second run in the inning on a pair of singles and a walk, it was cause for a little concern, but still, all he needed to do was repond as Lester had the night before, and all would be well. It didn't hurt that David Ortiz homered and Jarrod Saltalamachia drove in a third run in the top of the third to put the Sox right back in the lead.
But when Alex Gordon took a 3-1 fastball over the outside part of the plate and crushed it to dead center,as much as Peavy's situation was not hugely changed, it seemed clearer that this was not going to be his night. That a leaping grab at the wall by Jacoby Ellsbury was needed to get Peavy out of the inning did not help. And, indeed, a few innings later, with the Red Sox now leading 6-3, it all fell apart. The Royals started the bottom of the sixth with three straight singles against Peavy, and John Farrell had seen enough.
Had Drake Britton managed to shut it down there, this game might have ended very differently. Instead, even with a steady stream of lefties to face, Britton coughed up both of the runs he inherited, then proceeded to allow, with the help of Pedro Beato, two more of his own. Beato would make it an even six on the board for the Royals, turning a three-run lead for the Red Sox into a depressing three-run deficit.
While the Red Sox had managed to build up Ervin Santana's pitch count, chasing him after 3.2 high-scoring issues, unfortunately that would just give way to a much more successful bullpen. A combination of four Kansas City relievers stymied the Red Sox offense for the rest of the game, allowing just two hits and two walks in pitching the last five innings of work.
And that, as they say, was that. A thoroughly disappointing second outing from Jake Peavy, a thoroughly disappointing night from the Red Sox. It's hardly time to panic on Peavy outside of the context of a single game (and if you're out to do that, you're rather late). But it is time to lament that the Red Sox did nothing to stem the momentum of the Royals, but instead legitimized it even further.
At least the Rays lost.
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