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Despite no-decision, Peavy’s strong outing propels Sox to series victory

04.09.14 at 9:40 pm ET
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David Ortiz‘€™s clutch home run in the bottom of the eighth obviously was the turning point in Wednesday’€™s series finale vs. the Rangers, but Jake Peavy‘€™s dominant start set the stage for Ortiz’€™s heroics.

The righty went 6 2/3 strong innings, with a home run to Mitch Moreland in the top of the seventh inning standing as the only blemish on Peavy’€™s impressive outing. He fanned eight batters, which ties for his most K’€™s in a Red Sox uniform, a feat he also accomplished last Sept. 18 against the Orioles. Though he did issue four walks, Peavy held a powerful Texas offense to just three hits and a run.

“€œI thought he did a phenomenal job,” catcher David Ross said. “We needed an outing like that. When you’€™re trying to get away and salvage the series and you’ve got a guy like Jake Peavy taking the mound and doing that for us, it’€™s big. He kept us in the ball game and in the lead there for a while, so kudos to him.”

Peavy’€™s outing didn’t start off on the most promising of notes, with Shin-Soo Choo bashing the first offering to center field for a double. Peavy worked around the leadoff hit and stranded Choo on third. He then cruised until the seventh, racking up eight swings and misses (including five on the curveball) and fanning eight. He was able to stifle some of the Rangers’ big bats, including Prince Fielder (0-for-3 against Peavy, 0-for-4 on the evening) and Alex Rios (0-for-2 with a walk).

“€œHe was executing his pitches today really well, and when he didn’t execute a pitch, he missed in the right areas — down with the split-finger, off with the fastball to the non-hitter side, not back over middle,” Ross said. “€œThat’s a sign of a good outing, when you’re on the corner or off, and not making mistakes over the middle of the plate.”

With the Red Sox up by one run in the seventh, Moreland sent an 89 mph two-seamer out to the visitor’€™s bullpen, knotting the game at 1. Peavy was unable to get out of the seventh, departing with two outs in the inning.

“€œI felt good. I was happy to give us a chance to win,”€ Peavy said. “€œI wanted to do more. I got behind Moreland there, and was frustrated not to be able to finish the seventh, but overall had good stuff and good command of that stuff.”

Peavy has pitched well in both of his outings, tossing six innings of two-run ball in the home opener on Friday. Yet the starter has nothing to show for it, getting a no-decision in both contests. But it’€™s not the ‘W’ next to his name that matters for Peavy.

“That stat means nothing to me. It really doesn’t,”€ Peavy said. “€œWe won today. I’m more on the team win on my fifth day. I take them hard. Losing to Milwaukee on Opening Day was tough. I feel like I got the win today just as much as the 24 other guys feel the same, especially at this point in time.”€

With the team coming off a sweep by the Brewers and having lost Tuesday night’€™s contest, winning the rubber match and coming out of the homestand with a series win was huge. And so, in contributing to that achievement, Peavy drew considerable satisfaction.

“€œIt was a big one for our team. Getting swept, coming back in we needed to bounce back and win the series,” he said. “€œSo I knew coming in that it was a big start, and we needed to find a way to scratch and claw and get a win out of this. Especially going to New York, it’s always a fun and intense rivalry, and it’s nice to go in there with a little momentum.”

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