- Joe McDonald, ESPN Staff Writer
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Four days after the Red Sox acquired the veteran right-handed pitcher as part of a three-team, seven-player trade, Peavy proved his worth and notched his first win with Boston on Saturday night. He worked seven innings (plus one batter in the eighth) and allowed two runs on four hits, with two walks and seven strikeouts to help the Red Sox to a 5-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Fenway Park.
He worked efficiently and finished with 99 pitches (65 strikes) to improve his overall record in 2013 to 9-4. Peavy never faced more than four batters in a single inning.
Peavy wasted no time making his presence felt in the first.
He worked quickly and needed only 13 pitches (seven for strikes) to retire the side. With two outs, he issued a walk to Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt, who quickly attempted to steal second before Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia cut the runner down with a strong throw to end the inning.
The second inning was almost a mirror image of the first. Peavy issued a walk but tossed 14 pitches (seven for strikes).
He allowed his first hit of the game, a leadoff single to right field by the Diamondbacks’ Wil Nieves, in the top of the third inning. The runner was left stranded as Peavy retired the next three batters, including two strikeouts. Through three innings, his pitch count stood at 43 (26 strikes).
In the top of the fourth inning, Goldschmidt led off with a home run. He crushed an 0-2 offering from Peavy and deposited it over the Red Sox's bullpen in right-center field to give Arizona a 1-0 lead. Peavy settled in and retired the next three batters.
The former Cy Young winner cruised through the fifth and retired the side in order, including two strikeouts.
Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino provided a solo home run off Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game, 1-1. It was Victorino’s seventh homer of the season.
Peavy’s rhythmic pitching performance continued in the sixth inning. Other than a one-out single by Arizona’s Aaron Hill, Peavy again retired the side and through six innings had thrown 87 pitches (57 strikes).
Peavy retired the side in order in the seventh inning, this time with the help of two solid defensive plays by Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli.
With the game tied in the home half of the seventh, the Red Sox gained a 3-1 lead on a RBI-single by Jacoby Ellsbury and a sacrifice fly by Victorino.
After a lengthy rest in the bottom of the seventh, Peavy returned for the top of the eighth inning. But after Nieves led off with a single, Red Sox manager John Farrell emerged from the dugout, walked out to the mound and asked Peavy for the ball.
As Peavy walked to the dugout, he received a standing ovation from most of the 37,941 fans in attendance, and he responded with a tip of his cap.
Farrell summoned Craig Breslow from the bullpen and the left-hander hit a batter and allowed a single to load the bases. He was given the hook and replaced by right-hander Junichi Tazawa. His first offering resulted in a RBI-single by Hill, but Red Sox left fielder Jonny Gomes quickly retrieved the ball and made a perfect throw to the plate ahead of the would-be game-tying run. Cliff Pennington was called out at home for the first out of the inning.
Still, Arizona had runners on first and second. Tazawa got out of the jam, retiring the next two batters to secure the Sox’s 3-2 lead.
Boston added to its lead in the bottom of the eighth when catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia crushed a two-run homer into the home bullpen to give Boston a 5-2 advantage. It was his 10th round-tripper of the season.
Holding a three-run lead heading into the ninth, the Red Sox gave the ball to closer Koji Uehara, who collected his 10th save of the season.
3dScott Barboza, Special to ESPN.com