BOSTON – Jake Peavy tipped his hat to the crowd Saturday night as he left the mound to a standing ovation after his first start since joining the Boston Red Sox.
A smile would have to wait.
“I was upset giving up that hit,” Peavy said after allowing four hits, one of them against his final batter before walking off to a big cheer in Boston’s 5-2 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“I hope every last person knows it from the bottom of my heart: It was something special.”
Peavy (9-4) struck out seven and walked two, giving up Paul Goldschmidt’s homer in the fourth and leaving with a 3-1 lead after a leadoff single in the eighth. The former Cy Young winner walked slowly from the mound as the crowd rose to a standing ovation, tipping his cap to the fans while crossing the first-base line on his way to the dugout.
“Outstanding debut for us,” Manager John Farrell said. “He was effective, as advertised.”
Shane Victorino and Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered for Boston. Jonny Gomes threw a runner out at the plate to protect a one-run lead in the eighth inning and preserve the win for Peavy, who was acquired from the Chicago White Sox late Tuesday night in a three-team trade that included Detroit.
“Jonny Gomes might be my favorite player in the big leagues,” Peavy said with a smile. “I had some nerves. I have 300 starts; it felt like one of my first.”
Koji Uehara pitched the ninth for his 10th save for the Red Sox, who have won six of their last eight games and remain one game ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East.
Patrick Corbin (12-3) allowed three runs on eight hits and two walks, striking out six in six-plus innings for his second consecutive loss.
Peavy left after giving up a leadoff single to Wil Nieves in the eighth, then the Diamondbacks continued to load the bases against Craig Breslow. Aaron Hill singled off Junichi Tazawa to make it 3-2 but Gomes threw out Cliff Pennington at the plate when he tried to score from second.
“We’re aggressive,” Diamondbacks Manager Kirk Gibson said, defending third-base coach Matt Williams. “I make mistakes, Matty makes mistakes, players make mistakes at times. We stand behind each other.”
Goldschmidt struck out, then Eric Chavez flied to left to end the inning. Boston made it 5-2 in the bottom half when Saltalamacchia homered into the Red Sox bullpen, where Uehara caught it.
Peavy came from a last-place team to a first-place team, and in his first start gave the Red Sox rotation a boost.
In his third start since leaving a June 4 game for Chicago with a broken rib, Peavy allowed one hit in the first three innings before Goldschmidt knocked an 0-2 pitch over the Boston bullpen to lead off the fourth. Peavy retired 12 of the next 13 batters.
“He was just vintage Jake,” Gibson said. “He made the pitches when he had to. We had some pressure on him occasionally but he’s a good pitcher. That’s why they got him. You’ve got to tip your hat.”
NOTES: The Red Sox recalled right-hander Rubby de la Rosa from Triple-A Pawtucket and optioned right-hander Pedro Beato to Triple-A. Jacoby Ellsbury stole his 40th base of the season, joining Tris Speaker (1912-14) as the only Red Sox players with three seasons of at least 40 steals. Boston DH David Ortiz has reached base safely in 17 straight games.