The Red Sox have had problems scoring for nearly a week, and it finally caught up with them on the start of their longest road trip of the season.
Jake Peavy pitched into the seventh inning and allowed only three earned runs but didn’t have much to show for it after Boston was held to five hits in a 4-2 loss to Scott Kazmir and the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.
Peavy gave up only five hits over 6 1-3 innings, following up a stellar outing in his previous start.
With little support behind him, though, the right-hander remained winless since May 25.
“Physically I didn’t feel very good out there to start, I wasn’t in sync,” Peavy said. “I wasn’t good or on point. That’s just the way it is been going. Without scoring a ton of runs, those little mistakes mean everything.”
Peavy (1-5) pitched with runners on base in the first four innings before settling in. He retired eight of the final nine batters he faced and struck out four with three walks.
It wasn’t enough to prevent the Red Sox from ending their three-game winning streak — a run in which they scored five runs total. Boston has scored just 10 runs over its last six games.
“Jake battled,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “We didn’t have too many opportunities. You see what (Kazmir has) put up, not just against us, but throughout the season so far. Once again we’re scrambling to create some opportunities.”
Kazmir pitched seven innings to win his fourth straight start, Yoenis Cespedes hit his 14th home run and Stephen Vogt had two hits and two RBIs to move the A’s a season-high 17 games over .500. It’s the best record in the majors and continued Oakland’s best start since 1990.
Kazmir (9-2) went into the game with the second-lowest ERA among qualifiers in the AL and extended his streak to 18 1-3 innings without allowing an earned run before Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run home run in the sixth. He struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter.
Cespedes had not homered against the Red Sox until his two-out, solo shot off Peavy in the third.
Boston had played five straight one-run games heading into the series opener with Oakland. This one was tight as well.
Kazmir, who hasn’t lost since May 23, took a shutout into the sixth that Pedroia ended with a two-out home run.
“To be honest, our at bats weren’t that bad,” Pedroia said. “The guys hit some balls at people. We have to find a way to have a big inning and get some momentum.”
Luke Gregerson pitched the eighth and Dan Otero worked the ninth for his first career save.
Vogt hit an RBI groundout off Peavy in the second and singled in another run in the fourth. Jed Lowrie, who walked and doubled, scored both times.
Kazmir retired 15 of the first 17 batters he faced before Pedroia’s two-run home run cut Oakland’s lead to 3-2.