With an eye on helping the Red Sox reach the postseason, Jake Peavy is set to begin a new chapter in his stellar career. The 32-year-old right-hander makes his Boston debut Saturday night against the Diamondbacks.
Perhaps the biggest name to be moved prior to Wednesday’s trade deadline, Peavy (8-4, 4.28 ERA) was acquired from the White Sox on Tuesday as part of a three-team trade in which Boston (66-45) sent talented young infielder Jose Iglesias to Detroit.
Peavy, who last pitched in the postseason for the Padres in 2006, is excited about the chance of possibly returning with the Red Sox, leaders by one game over the Rays in the AL East.
“The opportunity I’ve been given, I couldn’t ask for anything more than to come to a team in first place with a realistic chance, which is why we all play this game — to play in the postseason,” said Peavy, who is being reunited with former White Sox bullpen coach Juan Nieves, now the pitching coach in Boston.
Peavy, who made one previous appearance at Fenway Park in 2011, has won two straight starts despite yielding eight runs and four homers over 13 innings.
“I expect to win on my day and to be the best teammate I can be,” the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner said. “I think I can win. I still think I can be a pitcher who can go out every fifth day and give my team a chance to win.”
Peavy is 13-12 with a 4.66 ERA in 29 starts against the Diamondbacks (56-53) but has not faced them since 2009.
He’ll try to help the Red Sox bounce back after their six-game interleague winning streak ended with a 7-6 loss Friday. Ex-Boston outfielder Cody Ross had four hits, including a tiebreaking solo homer in the seventh, to help the Diamondbacks snap a five-game skid against the Red Sox.
Ross, who had 22 home runs and 81 RBIs in 130 games last season for Boston, is 9 for 14 with five RBIs in the past three games.
“Obviously, I want to come in here and perform and play well. Any time you play against one of your old teams, you want to do that,” he said, “but I have no hard feelings toward anybody in this organization.”
Ross’ only hit in five at-bats against Peavy was a home run.
Arizona might have a good chance to spoil Peavy’s Beantown debut and record consecutive road wins for the first time since July 3-4 behind All-Star Patrick Corbin (12-2, 2.24). The left-hander has allowed one run in each of his last four starts, during which he’s struck out 34 over 28 2/3 innings. His three-start winning streak ended Sunday despite allowing a run and fanning eight in eight innings of a 1-0 loss to San Diego.
“I just want to do the same thing: Go up there and give up as few runs as I can,” Corbin said.
He’ll try to cool off Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury, who is batting .474 (27 for 57) during a 13-game interleague hitting streak.
Arizona’s Aaron Hill is 13 for 26 with eight extra-base hits in his last six games against AL opponents.