Jake Peavy in control against White Sox
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter August 31, 2013 11:46PM
Updated: October 2, 2013 6:55AM
BOSTON — That nice little run the White Sox were on is coming to an abrupt halt.
The Sox can thank former teammate Jake Peavy for that.
Peavy was in good form in the Boston Red Sox’ 7-2 victory Saturday night at Fenway Park, the second loss in two nights at the front end of the Sox’ 10-game road trip. It was the first time the Sox have lost two straight since Aug. 14.
The Sox (56-78) knew they’d be up against it. Boston (81-56) is the winningest team in the American League, and Peavy had the book on the team he spent four years with. He was predictably good, giving up two runs and five hits in seven innings.
“He had a better game plan than we did,’’ Sox manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘He was tough. It’s as sharp as you’ve seen him. And we didn’t mount anything.
“He was spotting, throwing a lot of off-speed stuff and really locating.’’
Peavy (11-5, 3.91 ERA) thrives on breaking down opponents’ tendencies and weaknesses. He prepares for starts as well as anyone.
“He’s good at seeing some weaknesses in people, and he tried to exploit it,’’ Ventura said. “You could see what he was trying to do. I don’t know if it’s that easy when you’re at the plate, but from afar, when you’re sitting back, you can see it. Having been at home plate and knowing what a guy is trying to do to you, it’s not easy to sit there and be able to counter it.’’
Acquired from the White Sox in a three-team trade July 30, Peavy went from last to first in the standings and has done his part to make sure Boston stays there in the AL East.
“Especially in this environment and what’s going on in the race for them, he’s the guy you want to have go out there,’’ Ventura said. “You can tell by his energy and emotions when he’s out there.’’
While he had talked Friday about how amped up he’d be, Peavy downplayed the meeting against his former team afterward.
“It wasn’t that big of a deal once you get in compete mode,’’ Peavy said. “It was a nice win tonight. We have to win.’’
Peavy set down the first six Sox he faced — getting away with a center cut fastball to former Sox pal Adam Dunn — and would have escaped the third without a run if Alejandro De Aza hadn’t beaten out a possible double-play grounder.
Peavy struck out Dunn swinging in the fourth while Alexei Ramirez was stealing second base after a single, and he got Paul Konerko on a close called third strike that Konerko disputed. Avisail Garcia’s single with two outs scored Ramirez and tied the score at 2.
After that, Peavy was in control. He struck out four and walked one.
“I was probably a little amped up for facing him,’’ Dunn said. “He gave me a couple of pitches to hit, but for the most part, he made some good ones.
“I’m sure [there was extra emotion on both sides]. I know there was for me. I try not to — it’s not even that big of a deal — but it was a good feeling to have a little extra emotion actually.’’
The Red Sox scored three in the fourth on four hits, including an RBI double by Jacoby Ellsbury and an RBI single by David Ortiz, against John Danks (4-11, 4.35 ERA).
Danks was knocked around for 11 hits. He gave up one walk and struck out two. He threw 110 pitches, a full night’s work for five innings, failing to win a third consecutive start for the first time since 2011.