Jake Peavy went all of May without a win and is now in danger of replicating the feat in June, but the weak-hitting Chicago Cubs are coming to Boston on the last day of the month and could save him the embarrassment.
The Red Sox will try to begin a 10-game homestand on a positive note Monday night as they chase their fourth win in five games.
Boston (38-44) completed a 4-6 road trip by taking the last two of a three-game series against the New York Yankees, including Sunday’s 8-5 victory.
Dustin Pedroia went 6 for 7 in the wins and can now get back to work on a nine-game hitting streak against the National League while David Ortiz clubbed his 450th home run and has 10 RBIs in 11 games.
"To get to where we want to be, those guys are going to have to drive the bus," winning pitcher John Lackey said. "You need the parts to do well, too, but they’re kind of the engine that runs this thing."
The Red Sox have won 10 of 12 at home behind some dazzling pitching. They’ve posted a 1.29 ERA in that 12-game span, allowing three runs or fewer in each contest to match a franchise record set in 1914 and equaled the following year.
Peavy (1-6, 4.93 ERA) is 0-6 with a 5.88 ERA in his last 11 starts, including possibly his worst of the season in Tuesday’s 8-2 loss in Seattle. The right-hander surrendered a season-high seven runs and eight hits in five innings.
"Yeah, it’s not fun," Peavy told MLB’s official website. "Nothing’s fun about getting beat, especially when you don’t do your job and get beat. It’s just frustrating. There’s no other way to say it. When you get beat and you’re playing from behind all night, it’s not fun."
He’s 7-4 with a 2.76 ERA in 14 starts against the Cubs.
Luis Valbuena is 6 for 13 against Peavy and provided Chicago’s only offense in Saturday’s doubleheader with Washington. The Cubs (34-46) fell 3-0 and 7-2 with Valbuena hitting a two-run homer to avoid consecutive shutouts.
They had a rare Sunday off to think about a .207 batting average with 27 runs scored over a 3-6 span before heading out on the road for an 11-game trip.
Jake Arrieta will get the ball in his first start since carrying a perfect game through six innings of Wednesday’s 7-3 victory over Cincinnati.
Arrieta (4-1, 2.05) is after a win in a fourth straight start and is 3-0 with a 1.14 ERA in five June outings.
"Really it’s just kind of going through the process that I feel like gives me the best chance to have success, and going through it day by day and sticking with it," Arrieta said.
It’ll also be his first start against the AL East since being traded from Baltimore on July 2. He went 9-9 with a 5.10 ERA in the division from 2010-13.
He’s 0-3 with a 5.67 ERA in five starts against Boston and has served up plenty of home runs to the Red Sox lineup. A.J. Pierzynski is 4 for 5 with two homers while Pedroia (4 for 13), Mike Napoli (2 for 6), Daniel Nava (3 for 6) and David Ross (2 for 2) all have one.
Red Sox infielder Xander Bogaerts is in a 2-for-35 rut and was held out of the lineup Sunday.
Chicago is 2-6 in interleague contests while Boston has won six straight.