BOSTON – Jake Peavy has been around long enough to know that pitchers go through stretches without run support.
It’s something he’s felt more than almost everyone else in the American League this season.
Peavy grinded through six tough innings and left with the lead before the Cleveland Indians rallied for two unearned runs against Boston’s bullpen for a 3-2 victory on Saturday.
Entering the day with the second-lowest run support in the AL behind Baltimore’s Ubaldo Jimenez, Peavy left with a 2-1 lead after stranding nine Cleveland base runners.
“Obviously it’s been tough to score on my day, that’s something I’m not going to shy away from the fact,” Peavy said. “I’m not blaming anyone. I have to be better. Guys have to find a way to be better on my day to win. It’s frustrating, no doubt. At the end of the day it’s frustrating to lose.”
Peavy, 0-4 with a 5.46 ERA in his past nine starts, came into the day with his teammates averaging just 3.21 runs while he was in the game.
“He was great. He deserved to win,” said Boston catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who made the key error that led to the unearned runs. “He battled the whole six innings, one run, left with the lead. We had a chance to shut them down, didn’t do it. It’s all my fault.”
Craig Breslow (2-2) took the loss, allowing both unearned runs and two hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning.
Jason Kipnis had three hits as the Indians snapped a four-game losing streak.
Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Brantley each had a pair of hits for Cleveland, which had lost eight of its past nine games at Fenway Park. John Axford (2-3) earned the win with one scoreless inning in relief of T.J. House.
Cody Allen pitched the ninth for his seventh save.
The Red Sox led 2-1 when Breslow relieved Peavy to start the seventh. Cabrera hit a grounder behind second base that shortstop Jonathan Herrera grabbed with a diving stop, but his throw to first short-hopped Mike Napoli and popped off the heel of his glove.
Michael Brantley singled to right, then second baseman Dustin Pedroia tried to come home on Kipnis’ grounder but Pierzynski couldn’t come up with the ball. Home plate umpire Sean Barber initially signaled out, but changed the call when he saw the ball rolling in the dirt.
“I just missed it,” Pierzynski said. “(Pedroia) made a great play. That’s why he’s a Gold Glover and I’m not.”
Two outs later, David Murphy walked to load the bases and, after Junichi Tazawa relieved Breslow, Carlos Santana walked in the go-ahead run to make it 3-2.
Jonny Gomes and Brock Holt had two hits apiece for the Red Sox, who scored a season-high 10 runs on Friday night. Boston had won seven in a row at home.
David Ortiz doubled in a run in the first inning for Boston. It was his 422nd career double in a Red Sox uniform, tying Wade Boggs for fourth on the team’s all-time list.
NOTES: Red Sox SS Stephen Drew missed his sixth straight game with a right side muscle injury. Boston manager John Farrell said he had a good workout before the game and would be available Sunday. … RHP Clay Buchholz (right knee) OF Shane Victorino (right hamstring) and 3B Will Middlebrooks (right index finger) all made rehab appearances for Triple-A Pawtucket. … Indians manager Terry Francona, who led the Red Sox to the 2004 and ’07 World Series titles, got a big cheer when he came out to check on Michael Bourn after his third-inning single.