BOSTON (CBS) – The Rays forced a Game 4 in their ALDS with the Red Sox thanks to a walkoff win on Monday night, but Boston is confident they can clinch Tuesday night with Jake Peavy on the mound.
“Another guy with playoff experience that has pitched well here in Tampa,” manager John Farrell said after Monday night’s loss. “It’s one of the main reasons we acquired him at the deadline, to pitch in a game like (tonight).”
Peavy, who Boston acquired at the trade deadline in a three-team swap with the White Sox and Tigers, boasts a 2-0 record and a 3.93 ERA in three career starts at Tropicana Field. He made one start in St. Pete for Boston in September, allowing three runs over six innings of work and getting a no decision in a Red Sox loss. Overall, the right-hander is 3-1 in his career against the Rays, boasting a 4.91 ERA with 34 strikeouts and 20 earned runs allowed in 36.2 innings pitched.
But what is most important is Peavy’s playoff experience. He has just two career postseason starts, with a 12.10 ERA in 9.2 innings. As a member of the Padres he started games in 2005 and 2006 against the St. Louis Cardinals, getting tagged for the loss in both of them. He was playing hurt in each of those games, battling broken ribs in ’05 and a shoulder injury in ’06, but says the playoff experience he earned is invaluable.
“I tell you what I’ve learned, experience means way more than I ever thought it did,” Peavy said on Monday prior to Game 3. “You say you need experience. You say you want experience. Until you have experience and understand what experience is, I don’t think you can talk about it and appreciate it. And I wish I could go back and know what I know now, be a little bit more under control in between the ears and on the mental side of things than I was back then.”
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“I’m excited about this opportunity,” Peavy added.
Peavy hasn’t started a game since September 25, but threw three innings in a simulated game at Fenway last Wednesday. He’s had success against a few Rays’ batters, holding Evan Longoria to a .200 batting average in 15 at-bats, and leadoff man David DeJesus to just three hits in 22 trips to the plate.
James Loney, who has been a thorn in Boston’s side this series, owns a .323 average against Peavy, clubbing two home runs and five doubles in 31 at-bats.
On the hill for the Rays is right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, who owns a 4-2 record with a 4.21 ERA in 12 starts against the Red Sox. A few Sox’ batters have had success against Hellickson, with David Ortiz touting a .375 average with three homers, a double and a triple in 24 at-bats against the righty. Jarrod Saltalamacchia is 8-for-25 against Hellickson with three home runs and five RBIs.
The first pitch of Game 4 of the ALDS is set for 8:37 p.m..
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