Jake Peavy grabbed his second win as a member of the Red Sox against his
former team on Saturday in a 7-2 win over Chicago at Fenway Park. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)
As far as the numbers go, once the Red Sox strike first, they’re hard to beat.
The Sox came into Saturday night’s game with a 54-15 record this season when scoring first in a game, and further bolstered that statistic by scoring the first run of the game in the first inning en route to defeating the visiting White Sox 7-2 in Game Two of the weekend series at the Fens.
Jake Peavy, who entered the game 10-5 on the season with a 3.99 ERA, moved to 2-1 as a member of the Red Sox since being traded from Chicago at the deadline, doling out two runs on five hits over seven and striking out four of his former teammates to earn the win and lower his ERA to 3.91. Craig Breslow and Drake Britton came on to combine for two scoreless innings of relief and give Boston its 81st win of the season.
For Chicago, John Danks surrendered six runs — five earned — and walked one on 11 hits and took the loss to fall to 4-11. Jake Petricka came out of the bullpen and gave up another run on four hits while walking two.
Jacoby Ellsbury led the offensive charge for the Red Sox, going 3 for 5 and driving in one, while Boston’s other five RBI were evenly split among Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, Jonny Gomes and Xander Bogaerts. The Red Sox out-hit the White Sox 15-5 in the game.
Here are the four at-bats that changed the game:
1) Holy T-error: After Paul Konerko committed an error and allowed Ortiz to reach with two out in the first, Mike Napoli singled to left to drive in Ellsbury for an early 1-0 Red Sox lead.
2) Aza Dazzle: With one out and two men on the corners for Chicago in the third, Alejandro De Aza grounded into a force out at second to drive in Conor Gillaspie and tie the game at 1-1.
3) Ross Comes Across: With the game tied 2-2 in the fourth, Ellsbury stroked a ground-rule double to right to cash in David Ross for a 3-2 Boston lead and move Bogaerts to third in the bargain.
4) An Out With Clout: Still in the home half of the fourth and with one out, Pedroia made the most of a ground out to first, reeling in Bogaerts from third to give Boston a 4-2 advantage.
Later that night on the West Coast in a battle of American League wild-card contenders, the host Oakland A's defeated Tampa Bay 2-1 to boost Boston to a 4.5-game lead over the Rays in the AL East Division.
Tomorrow, the Red Sox will close out the three-game series with Chicago and look for the sweep by sending Felix Doubront (10-6, 3.74 ERA) to the hill against Andre Rienzo, who is 1-0 with a 4.21 ERA in six games for the White Sox this season.