In what was possibly Jake Peavy’s final start in a Red Sox uniform, the righthander did more than enough to win, but the Sox offense could muster just two runs as they fell to the Astros on Saturday 3-2.
Houston scored the game-winning run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, as Chris Carter hit a ball up the middle that Brock Holt flipped to second for a force, but just pulled Dustin Pedroia off the bag and allowed Jose Altuve to score from third to make it 3-2 Astros.
Mookie Betts legged out an infield single with one out in the ninth, then advanced to second on a single by Holt, but couldn’t come home with the tying run, as Pedroia grounded into a game-ending double play.
Peavy (1-8) took a frustrating loss, as he went 7+ innings, allowing three runs on six hits with one walk and a season-high nine strikeouts. Josh Fields picked up his second win of the year after pitching 1 2/3 innings of relief, allowing no hits with one walk, striking out three.
The Red Sox tied the game 2-2 in the top of the seventh, as Dustin Pedroia lifted a sac fly to center that was deep enough to score Jackie Bradley Jr. from third.
The Astros struck first in the bottom of the third, as Altuve hit a two-out double to left and Jason Castro launched a shot to right that just got over Mookie Betts’ glove for a two-run homer.
Just after Houston took a 2-0 lead, David Ortiz quickly got a run back, hitting the first pitch of the fourth inning into the 10th row of the right field stands to cut the deficit to one.
MVP: Jose Altuve
The Astros’ All-Star went 2-for-4 with two doubles and scored two runs, including the game-winner after doubling in the bottom of the eighth. He hit his first double with two outs in the third and scored on Jason Castro’s two-run homer off Peavy that gave the Astros a 2-0 lead.
GOAT: John Farrell
With Jake Peavy sitting at 102 pitches entering the eighth inning in a 2-2 ballgame, Farrell made the curious decision to leave his starter in the game, despite getting seven solid innings. Altuve doubled on the first pitch he saw from Peavy and eventually came around with the game-winning run.
ICYMI: With two outs in the bottom of the seventh and a runner on second, Marwin Gonzalez hit a hot shot down the first base line that Mike Napoli picked, then threw to a sliding Peavy, who smacked first base with his glove for the last out of the inning.
QUOTE OF THE GAME:
Betts said the HR by Castro in the 3rd inning hit the tip of his glove. “I don’t know how I didn’t catch it,” he said. #redsox
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) July 12, 2014
NUMBERS TO KNOW: Saturday marked the Red Sox’ 20th one-run loss of the season…The Sox dropped to 5-29 when scoring less than three runs in a ballgame…David Ortiz’s fourth inning home run was his 20th of the season; the solo shot also gave him 62 RBIs on the year…Saturday was Peavy’s 12th quality start of the season, though he’s only been credited with a win once…The Red Sox haven’t won a game that Peavy has started since May 29.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Red Sox fell back to 10 games under .500 with a total record of 42-52. With the Rays beating the Blue Jays and the Yankees beating the Orioles, the Red Sox currently sit 9.5 games back of the Orioles in the AL East, currently tied with the Rays for last place in the division. The Astros improved to 40-55 on the year; they’re currently in fourth place in the AL West, one game ahead of the cellar-dwelling Rangers and 19 behind the first place Oakland A’s at the conclusion of Saturday’s Sox-Astros game.
LOOKING AHEAD: Clay Buchholz will start for the Red Sox on Sunday in their final game before the All-Star break, going 3-5 with a 6.11 ERA in 13 starts this season. The two-time All-Star went seven innings his last time out, allowing four runs on five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in a 4-0 loss to the White Sox on July 7.
Brad Peacock is scheduled to start for the Astros, holding a 3-4 record and a 4.30 ERA in 13 starts this year. He took down the Texas Rangers in his last start, allowing two runs on six hits as the Astros beat the Rangers 8-3 on July 8.