Four Real? Red Sox vs Arizona 8-3-13

Newly acquired Red Sox pitcher Jake Peavy was a gem
on Saturday. (photo Christopher Evans/Boston Herald)

Jan-Christian Sorensen
Contributing Writer

The second game in Boston’s three-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks was Easy Peavy.

In his Boston debut, newly acquired Jake Peavy — traded by Boston to the White Sox for Jose Iglesias, who was then moved to Detroit in a three-team swap at the trade deadline earlier this week — was both economical and effective, scattering four hits over seven innings and striking out seven on 99 pitches while allowing only two runs and two walks to move to 9-4 on the year with a 4.14 ERA.

It was a pitching battle from the get-go, with Peavy and D-backs’ starter Patrick Corbin duelling for most of the game. Corbin, however, was stuck with the loss and moved to 12-3 on the year after going six innings and giving up three runs on eight hits while striking out six.

It was an ideal game for Peavy to show off his new socks. In 29 lifetime starts against the Diamondbacks, Peavy entered the game with a 13-2 record and a 2.66 ERA against the Snakes. Corbin, meanwhile, came into the game with a 4-1 record and a 3.21 ERA on the road, while his team was 18-3 in his starts this season.

Something had to give.

Thankfully for the Sox, who remained one game up on Tampa Bay by virtue of the Rays’ extra-inning walkoff win against San Francisco Saturday, it was Arizona.

Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino — the only member of the Red Sox who had previously faced Corbin in the batter’s box — was on his game, going 2 for 3 with a pair of RBI to help put the Sox on top. His solo home run in the fifth didn’t only tie the game at 1-1, it also marked the eighth consecutive game in which Boston has blasted a homer, tying them for a season-high.

Here are the four at-bats that changed the game:

1) Monster Mash: In the fifth inning with his team down 1-0, Victorino blasted a Corbin fastball deep into the Green Monster seats to even the score and give him his seventh homer of the season.

2) The cure for what Ells You: After singles by Stephen Drew and Brandon Snyder, Jacoby Ellsbury ripped a hard single to center to score Drew and move pinch-runner Brock Holt to third to give the Sox a 2-1 advantage.

3) Shane Again: After Corbin was lifted for reliever Will Harris, Victorino laced a sacrifice fly deep to center to score Holt and give the Sox a 3-1 lead.

4) He went to Jarrod!: Boston Backstop Jarrod Saltalamacchia put the game out of reach in the eighth inning when he blasted a four-seam fastball off reliever David Hernandez into the bullpen in right-center field, driving in Mike Napoli ahead of him for his tenth homer of the year, giving the Sox a 5-2 lead that would carry them to their MLB-leading 67th win of the season.

Tomorrow at 1:35 p.m. ET, Felix Doubront (7-5, 3.77 ERA) will tangle with Brandon McCarthy (2-4, 5.00 ERA) as Boston aims to take the rubber game of the series and maintain their slim edge over Tampa Bay in the AL East.

Twitter: @jan_doh