Lefthander Felix Doubront was scheduled to start Wednesday’s game against the Rays at Fenway Park before rain washed the contest out. But, manager John Farrell flip-flopped right-hander Jake Peavy and Doubront in today’s doubleheader, with the idea being that Peavy would likely go deeper into the game than Doubront -- who lasted just 2 2/3 innings in his last. Peavy started the first game – hoping to save the bullpen, if necessary, with Doubront now scheduled for the night cap.
But, although Peavy went 6 1/3 innings, he left the Red Sox trailing the Rays by a run, on their way to a 2-1 loss in the first game.
The Sox got a run in the first off Cesar Ramos, sending seven batters to the plate, forcing the lefthander to throw 35 pitches, just 17 for strikes. Dustin Pedroia led off with a 10-pitch walk, taking second on a wild pitch, before Shane Victorino and David Ortiz struck out. Mike Napoli walked, and Jonny Gomes singled, scoring Pedroia, with a four-pitch walk to Xander Bogaerts loading the bases. But Will Middlebrooks flied out to end the inning.
But they left the bases loaded, unable to capitalize on the opportunity, which would prove to be a problem as Ramos settled in.
Peavy cruised through the first two innings, needing just 24 pitches to retire all six batters. But he gave up a home run to David DeJesus leading off the third, tying the game.
The Rays got another run off Peavy in the fourth as Desmond Jennings led off with a double. With two outs Peavy issued three consecutive walks to James Loney, Wil Myers, and DeJesus, forcing in a run. It was the first time this season Peavy has been in a bases-loaded situation.
Meanwhile, Ramos got back some of the control that had been elusive in the first. From the last out of the first, he retired 11 of the next 12 batters, giving up just two—out walk to Mike Napoli in the third.
The Sox didn’t get their second hit until Middlebrooks’ two out single in the sixth.
The Sox bid to tie the game in the seventh withered at the plate when Pedroia was thrown out trying to score from first on David Ortiz’s one-out double off Jake McGee. Mike Napoli struck out, swinging at 98-mph fastball, to end the inning.
Peavy took the loss, falling to 1-1. He went 6 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on three hits and five walks with four strikeouts and one home run. He threw 113 pitches (66 for strikes), matching his season high for the third time. Peavy has allowed one home run in each of his six starts.
Brandon Gomes got the win in relief, pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
Grant Balfour earned his fifth save with a scoreless ninth.