Peavy sharp in season-high eight innings

May, 30, 2014
May 30
12:24
AM ET
BOSTON -- Having spent 13 seasons in the majors, Red Sox starter Jake Peavy knows when it's his time to step up.

After Clay Buchholz eventually ended up on the disabled list after his ineffective start on Monday (eight walks in three innings pitched), Peavy recognized what his role as a starter was to the rest of the team.

[+] EnlargeJake Peavy
AP Photo/Winslow TownsonJake Peavy pitched a season-high eight innings in Boston's 4-3 win, though he settled for a no-decision.
"We've used our bullpen an awful lot," Peavy said. "We know as starters we've got to go out and give our team [a strong effort] to win. [Jon] Lester and [John] Lackey have been doing that and I expect to do the same."

Lester and Lackey both did their part with wins against the Braves on Tuesday and Wednesday. Although he didn't get a win Thursday, Peavy did his part in helping the Red Sox walk away with a 4-3 win that sealed a four-game sweep of the Braves. The right-hander went a season-high eight innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and posting his seventh quality start this season.

"I thought Jake was in control of this game right from the start," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "He's a veteran guy. You begin to have a certain expectation and dependability that Jake has shown over the course of his career."

Peavy faced little challenge his first time through the Braves lineup, allowing only a leadoff single in the second that failed to materialize into anything for Atlanta. However, in his second time up against Peavy, Braves leadoff man Jason Heyward crushed a hanging changeup over the right field wall to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead in the third.

After a leadoff walk to start the fourth inning, Peavy once again found himself battling, this time against a balk call by second-base umpire Bob Davidson. Believing that there was no way he balked, Peavy wasted no time walking toward Davidson to argue the call, prompting second baseman Dustin Pedroia to run in and turn him back to the mound before the pitcher could say too much. The balk eventually led to a run as Braves catcher Evan Gattis singled with one out to put the Braves up 2-0.

"I didn't feel like I balked. That cost a run," Peavy said. "I didn't do anything. I didn't feel anything, I didn't move. I didn't feel like I made any kind of balk move at all."

However, Davidson, commonly referred to as "Balkin' Bob" for his frequent balk calls, seemed to believe differently.

"Bob Davidson likes calling balks, I think we've established that at this point in time," Peavy said. "I didn't get an explanation, I was too upset. I didn't think I should probably talk to Bob anymore."

Instead of letting his frustration derail him, Peavy settled in, retiring seven consecutive Braves hitters at one point between the fifth and the seventh innings and entering the eighth inning for the first time this season at 97 pitches. After giving up a leadoff single to B.J. Upton, who came around to score on a Freddie Freeman double, Peavy got the next three Braves hitters to ground out and finish his night.

"Even with two outs in the eighth inning, pitch count climbing up, he makes a good pitch to [Chris] Johnson to leave a guy standing at third base that looms large," Farrell said. "You point back to Jake Peavy's eight innings giving us an opportunity to win this game tonight."

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