CLEVELAND — Jake Peavy did well to keep the Red Sox viable against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night after giving up three runs in the first inning and it appeared he would be rewarded for it.
His teammates came back to tie the game up in the top of the seventh inning and Peavy went back to the mound. He had thrown 95 pitches and the Red Sox had a well-rested bullpen, but manager John Farrell entrusted Peavy with the bottom of Cleveland’s order.
“We’re in the bottom of the order. Righthanders coming,” Farrell said. “[Peavy] had been settled into a very good rhythm and made a number of good pitches throughout the middle innings and through the sixth. At 95 pitches he’s still in good shape, I thought.”
That decision and the ones that followed backfired as the Indians scored two runs and beat the Red Sox, 5-3, before 18,738 at Progressive Field.
The Indians have won five straight. The Red Sox have lost the first two games of a nine-game road trip and dulled the momentum of their seven-game win streak.
Now Brandon Workman faces the estimable Corey Kluber in the series finale Wednesday night.
For Peavy, what looked like redemption turned into a frustrating loss.
“It could have been as gratifying a start as I’ve had all year,” he said. “Now you feel like you do now.”
Peavy walked leadoff hitter David Murphy in the seventh before Yan Gomes grounded a single into left field.
The Sox caught a break when Mike Aviles bunted the ball too hard and Peavy threw Murphy out at third.
Farrell went to lefthander Andrew Miller to face lefthanded hitter Michael Bourn. Miller has overpowered lefthanders this season but Bourn was 4 for 6 against him in his career.
“We set it up. Andrew has been the guy we’ve brought in with men on base and has gotten some key strikeouts,” Farrell said. “Recognizing full well that Bourn had had some success in a limited number of at-bats.”
History was on Bourn’s side. Miller fell behind in the count, came in with a fastball, and Bourn went the other way with it for a double to the base of the wall in left field. Two runs scored.
That deficit was too much for the Red Sox, who had 10 hits but were 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position. Cody Allen got the final four outs for his second save of the series.
Peavy (1-3) was charged with five runs on eight hits over 6⅓ innings. The Red Sox are 1-4 in Peavy’s last five starts and he has not won a game since April 25.
“It’s been the story of my last month, can’t quite get the ball to bounce our way. Awfully tough losing,” Peavy said.
Peavy made his own trouble in the first inning as five consecutive singles helped give the Indians a 3-0 lead.
Bourn led off with a sharp single to left field. Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a hit-and-run single to right field that pushed Bourn to third base.
Michael Brantley, who is putting together an All-Star season for the Indians, singled to right field and Cleveland had a 1-0 lead.
Cleanup hitter Jason Kipnis bunted for a single and the bases were loaded.
Lonnie Chisenhall followed with a bloop single to center field and the Indians had their second run. Peavy’s next pitch produced a double-play grounder by Ryan Raburn. A run scored, but the Sox accepted that trade.
Peavy struck out Murphy to finally end the inning after 25 pitches.
Peavy left a runner stranded at third in the second inning, starting a stretch in which he retired 12 straight.
Trailing, 3-0, the Red Sox worked back to tie the game against Indians rookie starter T.J. House and the bullpen.
Xander Bogaerts was right in the middle of it as the 21-year-old rookie continued to establish himself as one of the best players in the league.
Bogaerts homered to left field in the third inning, a day after he homered to right field. It was his fifth of the season, the fourth since May 17.
Bogaerts is up to .304 on the season with an .859 OPS.
“Working on my swing, working on my approach,” he said. “I think it’s more the weather. I always said I’m a guy who likes playing in the hot weather.”
Jonathan Herrera singled in a run in the sixth inning. The Sox then tied the game in the seventh but wasted a chance to take the lead.
Facing former Red Sox righthander Scott Atchison, Bogaerts led off with a double to left and scored when Dustin Pedroia doubled to right. The Indians intentionally walked David Ortiz.
The Indians had lefthander Nick Hagadone warming up. Farrell preferred to let the righthanded hitting Gomes face Atchison rather than pinch hit with a lefthander and bring Hagadone into the game.
Gomes, who is hitting .171 against righthanders, popped to shortstop.
Hagadone, pitching in his first major league game of the season, struck out A.J. Pierzynski and Alex Hassan to end the inning.
Pierzynski looked bad, missing a 2-and-2 slider in the dirt. An overmatched Hassan then struck out for the fourth time.
“We had a number of opportunities,” Farrell said. “Key spot would come up in the order and once again a base hit with runners in scoring position was elusive.”