The Red Sox lost a game for the first time in ten days Tuesday night, bringing their five-game winning streak to an abrupt end.
Recent weeks had seen Jake Peavy's losses shift from well-earned to hard-luck, but tonight was a return to unfortunate form for the veteran righty. To be fair to Peavy, he was throwing hard and racked up a fair few strikeouts, but in the end it was a classic 2014 Peavy performance featuring all the unfortunate hallmarks, starting with a costly walk in the third. Anthony Gose took his free pass, stole second, and then scored when Melky Cabrera hit a hard comebacker. Peavy managed to get his glove on the ball, but only succeeded in knocking it down towards foul territory past the first base line, just barely too far away for him to recover in time.
That was only one of three walks for the oft-wild Peavy tonight, but it was also the only one that would score. The rest of the damage was done by the more glaring of Peavy's problems: the long ball. Jose Reyes led off the sixth by taking an inside fastball over the right field wall, putting the Jays ahead by two. Then, with Melky Cabrera on base, it was Dioner Navarro cleaning one out of his wheelhouse for another shot to just about the same spot. The two homers leaves Peavy once again perfectly even with 20 allowed in 20 starts.
Of course, there's still one classic sign of a Peavy start left to cover: a dead night from the offense. Or at least up until Peavy left the game. One night after scoring 14, the Red Sox were in classic "refusing to score" mode, somehow even managing to come away with nothing in a fifth inning that featured a double, single, and hit batter. All told Happ gave up nine baserunners in six innings and the Red Sox couldn't turn them into so much as a single run.
They finally managed some offense once Happ was gone from the game when David Ortiz and Stephen Drew produced a pair of homers in the eighth and ninth innings, good for three runs. That didn't really make it a close game, however, as Jake Peavy and Burke Badenhop managed to surrender a fifth run in the seventh inning before handing the ball off to Felix Doubront, who coughed up two in a rare inning's work. All told, the final four-run deficit was the closest the Red Sox came.
Now the question is whether this snowballs. After all, the last time the Red Sox actually managed to put together a run of success, they followed it up by losing five straight, and going from 14-1 to 7-3 in the span of a day is just a little too symbolic for comfort.