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Jake Peavy pitches into fifth, Xander Bogaerts collects two hits as Pirates beat Red Sox

03.19.14 at 10:01 pm ET
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Jake Peavy looked strong, if not pinpoint sharp, in his second start of the spring. Through four scoreless innings, the right-hander struck out four, walking one and allowing just two first-inning hits in facing 16 batters.

Peavy was throwing hard from the start Wednesday night in a 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at JetBlue Park. He retired the first two batters of the game before allowing two hard-hit balls, a single by Travis Snider and a ground-rule double to right. Peavy bounced back to strike out Tony Sanchez to work out of trouble.

“I felt good,” Peavy said. “In spring training you’re trying to figure out your body. Maybe it was going a little bit fast there early but things fell into place and I was able to calm down and get some good work in. I still have a lot of work to do. Late [in the outing], we tried to work on some offspeed pitches that weren’t even close really to where they need to be. We have a lot of work to do but another step in the right direction.”

Peavy was touching 93 MPH on the radar gun with his fastball several times on the night. The Red Sox starter said he was throwing a tad too hard all night and was fighting to find command on the corners with his secondary pitches, especially his changeup.

“I really don’t want to be there at this point in time,” Peavy said of the velocity. “I was just excited. First night game, you just get excited. It’s fun to compete and it’s fun when you don’t have a team you’re worried about facing or showing too much. You can let it all hang out there, and I was excited to do that really for the first time and just a little too amped up. But I feel fine. It’s going to be fine.

“My breaking ball feels really good, cutter same way but the changeup, I’m in between the split and the changeup. I hadn’t used my changeup because of the right [ring] finger issue. I haven’t been able to develop that pitch any where close to what I need.”

As for his left index finger, sliced in a fish carving accident early in camp, Peavy said he was back to wearing his pitcher’s glove and felt comfortable.

“Everything’s good,” he said. “We wrapped it up and other than being a little bit swollen it’s almost completely healed. It’s not an issue.”

But on the third pitch of the fifth, Peavy left a 2-0 changeup in the middle of the plate to Travis Ishikawa and the Pirates designated hitter crushed the pitch over the retired numbers in right for his second homer of the spring.

“I was pretty stubborn in throwing it and throwing some bad ones and finally threw one for a strike and it got hit a long way,” Peavy said.

Peavy bounced back with a strike out of Clint Barmes before Jaff Decker drilled a Peavy pitch off the scoreboard in left, above the leaping Jonny Gomes, who crashed back-first into the Monster. Peavy got Jose Tabata to fly out to Shane Victorino in right for the second out before manager John Farrell came out to replace him with Andrew Miller. The lefty fanned Travis Snider to strand Decker at second to end the fifth.

Peavy allowed just the one run on four hits, striking out five and walking one in 4 2/3 innings, throwing 74 pitches, 47 for strikes.

“I thought he threw the ball very well tonight,” manager John Farrell said. “He got to the desired pitch count we wanted him to. Even in the two outings he’s made for us, he’s shown good life to his fastball, good power to it, and while he’s still trying to refine the touch and feel to his changeup, there were a lot of positives here tonight.

“He came into camp in great shape, and even despite a few days missed because of the [fishing knife] accident, he’s responded very well to the throwing. The two starts he’s made for us, he shown good arm strength and good life on his fastball.”

The Red Sox broke through in the fourth, taking a 1-0 lead when Xander Bogaerts took a 2-2 pitch and drove it through the hole on the right side of the infield, scoring Dustin Pedroia, who led off the inning with a double off the JetBlue Monster.

Bogaerts, who finished 2-for-3 on the night, also singled in the second inning but was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double.

“A 3-2 fastball he lines off the wall in left-center, and stayed back well on a breaking ball in a 2-2 count,” Farrell said. “It’s almost like he let the ball travel a little bit more [into his hands] rather than get a little bit jumpy at times. He looked comfortable in the box. Will [Middlebrooks] good swings as well tonight. There were a number of encouraging things here.”

The spring woes of David Ortiz continued. He struck out in the first, with the last two strikes coming on check-swings. He did move Pedroia over to third base in the fourth with a ground out to first. He finished 0-for-3, which dropped him to 2-for-30 (.067) on the spring.

“You get every other day activity,” Farrell said. “He’s still getting his timing down. Come Sunday through the remainder of next week, we’ll start running guys out there every day with our normal lineup and I’m confident he’ll settle right in.”

After the Pirates tied the game on Ishikawa’s homer in the fifth, Jonny Gomes responded in the bottom half with an opposite field single to right that scored Will Middlebrooks for a 2-1 lead. The Pirates tied it again in the sixth.

An inning later, Middlebrooks tagged out two Pirates on one play and resulting in the first video replay of the spring. The replay upheld the ruling.

The Pirates took the lead in the eighth with two runs off Dalier Hinojosa.

Read More: Boston Red Sox, jake peavy, Pittsburgh Pirates, spring training 2014
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