BOSTON -- There was a buzz around Fenway Park prior to Saturday's game in anticipation of Jake Peavy's Red Sox debut. The 32-year-old lived up to the expectation as he and Diamondbacks ace Patrick Corbin went toe-to-toe with one another before the Red Sox were able to snap a 1-1 tie in the seventh and then come away with a 5-2 win.
Peavy went seven+ innings allowing two runs on four hits while striking out seven to earn his first win in a Red Sox uniform. His only mistake was allowing a solo homer to Paul Goldschmidt in the fourth inning to deep in the triangle in right-center (an inherited runner scored in the eighth to account for the second run).
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"It was an outstanding debut for us with three different pitches -- fastball, cutter and slider," said manager John Farrell. "He was efficient and as advertised. Strong competitor. Made a couple of key pitches when he needed to. With the exception of the 0-2 pitch to Goldschmidt it was an outstanding effort on his part."
Corbin went six+ innings allowing three runs on eight hits while striking out eight. His only blemish was giving up a solo homer to Shane Victorino into the Monster seats in the fifth -- that is until the seventh. After going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts against Corbin, Jacoby Ellsbury singled to center field in the seventh inning, scoring Stephen Drew to put the Sox ahead and chased Corbin from the game. Victorino followed with a sacrifice fly to put the Sox on top 3-1 after seven.
The Red Sox made it interesting in the eighth as Peavy gave up a lead-off single and then Craig Breslow allowed the first two hitters to reach before Junichi Tazawa allowed a single to load the bases. Aaron Hill singled to left scoring Wil Nieves, but Jonny Gomes came up firing to throw out Cliff Pennington at the plate, which would have been the tying run. Tazawa then struck out Goldschmidt and retired Eric Chavez to get out of the jam only allowing one run.
Jarrod Saltalamachhia smashed a two-run homer into the Red Sox bullpen in the bottom half of the eighth to give the Sox some insurance runs and a 5-2 cushion going into the ninth. Closer Koji Uehara didn't need the insurance as he pitched a scoreless ninth for his tenth save.
The teams will wrap up their three-game series tomorrow afternoon (1:35, NESN, TBS) as Felix Doubront will toe the rubber and be opposed by Brandon McCarthy.
What they'll be saying: Fans really couldn't have asked for a better debut from Peavy who was outstanding and left to a big standing ovation from the Fenway faithful. He became the first Red Sox pitcher to allow four hits or less in seven or more innings in his Red Sox debut since Hideo Nomo's no-hitter back in 2001 ... Victorino continue to swing a hot bat going 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs. Over his last five games, he is 10-for-23 (.435) with three doubles, two home runs and 5 RBIs.