BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians combined for 19 hits, seven walks, two hit batters and three stolen bases in a three-hour, 24-minute game Saturday at Fenway Park. Yet there were just five runs, as the teams combined to go 0-for-18 with runners in scoring position and the Indians needed to take advantage of some mistakes by the hosts to plate a pair in the seventh and steal a 3-2 win.
Red Sox starter Jake Peavy was good enough and had a chance to pick up his first win since April 25, leaving with a 2-1 lead after six innings. David Ortiz and Jonny Gomes had RBIs for Boston, which falls back below .500 at home (17-18).
Here is what we saw along the way:
Nothing to be peeved about: The Indians got to Peavy for seven hits and two walks and had two batters hit by pitches, so they had their share of traffic on the basepaths. However, Peavy managed to get big outs when he needed them and snapped the longest streak of his career of giving up three earned runs or more (seven games). He's had better starts in his life, but this qualifies as a positive step after an eight-game stretch in which he was 0-4 with a 5.94 ERA.
Sloppy seventh: The Sox had played some very tidy, clean baseball through the first two games of this series and for much of Saturday's affair. That was not the case in the decisive seventh inning, when two singles, one error, one failed scoop at first base by Mike Napoli and a bases-loaded walk gave Cleveland two unearned runs.
The frame began when Napoli failed to come up with a one-hop throw from Jonathan Herrera, allowing Asdrubal Cabrera to reach. It goes into the books as a hit, but the steady first baseman will be the first to tell you he should've made the scoop. Another single put runners at the corners before Jason Kipnis hit a grounder to Dustin Pedroia, who decided to try to cut down the tying run at home instead of conceding and going for a sure double play.
Pedroia made the right decision and the throw beat Cabrera, but catcher A.J. Pierzynski was unable to hang on and was charged with an error. Two outs later, Craig Breslow walked a man to load the bases and Junichi Tazawa came on to walk another, the first free pass he has ever issued with the bases full, to give Cleveland a 3-2 lead.
Start of something big? Pedroia was in a bit of a slide and in danger of having his career average drop below .300 before a double late in Friday's win. He opened this one with a drive to the wall in left-center and lined to shortstop in the third for two loud outs before ripping one into the triangle in center for a double in the sixth.
The hard contact may be an indication of an imminent hot streak for Pedroia, who traditionally (2013 notwithstanding) gets going in a big way by the time July rolls around. The double was even more impressive given the fact that it came on the first pitch after he hit a screaming line drive into a boy's face behind the Cleveland dugout.
The boy, who was sporting a Pedroia T-shirt, appeared to be OK and walked away with medics while holding an ice pack against his head. Pedroia spent a long time looking in that direction between pitches and then again after he reached second base. He also joined the fans along the third-base line with an ovation for the boy when he walked away.
Pedroia, who welcomed his third son to the world Friday, was clearly concerned.
David Double: When the Sox faced T.J. House in Cleveland last week, David Ortiz was 0-for-4 with three of the outs recorded by House. Ortiz fouled off a few pitches from the Indians lefty that he would normally hammer, prompting him to walk around home plate shaking his head in disbelief.
The same scenario unfolded in the bottom of the first inning Saturday, when Ortiz fouled off three pitches that looked a bit meaty. He was shaking his head again after the third foul. Two pitches later he hammered an RBI double to the base of the short wall in right. The big designated hitter had House sized up. It just took him a while to make solid contact.
Oh, and that double tied him with Wade Boggs for fourth on the all-time franchise list.
The right stuff: Manager John Farrell said pregame he was comfortable giving Brock Holt his first career start in right field due to Holt's athleticism and solid play in left. No matter the role, Holt continues to impress. He made a pretty solid play on a double by Nick Swisher in the second, keeping the runner ahead of Swisher at third with a quick relay back in.
That inning came to an end when Cleveland's Carlos Santana hit perhaps the hardest ball of the day right into the glove of a lunging Napoli, who actually caught the liner in foul ground as he was guarding the line. The Indians were kept off the board in part due to Holt's play. Holt also ended the fourth grabbing a high drive near the warning track as he glared into a late-afternoon sun that has crippled more experienced right fielders over the years. The all-purpose Holt had a running catch toward the Boston bullpen in the fifth and played multiple balls trickling along the tricky wall past the foul pole just fine.
Messy Mike: It's been an adventurous, dirty couple of days for Napoli. He went first to third and flopped into third base in emphatic fashion during Friday's win, part of a three-run Red Sox rally. He was caught too far off second base on another play in the same game.
On Saturday, Napoli made line-drive catches to end the second and third innings and later had two narrow misses on difficult foul pops, one time rolling over the tarp as the ball fell into the first row down the right-field line.
Napoli also made perhaps the most important play of the game for Boston when he barreled into second base to break up a potential inning-ending double play in the sixth, allowing Pedroia to score a go-ahead run.
Not your average scoreless inning: The fifth inning was a nice example of what has been a grind of a stretch for Peavy. The Indians had one hit, one walk (on 10 pitches) and one hit batter before Peavy got out of the base-loaded mess with a grounder to second. He needed 28 pitches in the frame, which pushed his count to 94 and all but guaranteed he would last no longer than six innings.
Rehab updates: Clay Buchholz gave up three runs in 4 2/3 innings in his first rehab outing for Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday. Buchholz, who is on the shelf with a hyperextended left knee, struck out five and did not walk a batter in a 62-pitch effort. Two of the four hits he gave up left the yard, solo shots in the fourth and fifth innings.
Up next: While he awaits word on the appeal of his six-game suspension, Brandon Workman toes the rubber for the Red Sox opposite Indians right-hander Corey Kluber. First pitch for the Father's Day affair is 1:35 p.m. ET.