Peavy overcomes rocky start to defeat Rays

Peavy overcomes rocky start to defeat Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- Jake Peavy walked a tightrope Sunday against the Rays, as did the Giants, who had three errors in the first three innings.

In the first inning, a bad pickoff throw by Peavy allowed Logan Forsythe to score before an out had been recorded .

The second was a dropped popup by Brandon Belt. And the third was a grounder that shortstop Brandon Crawford couldn't handle. They all forced Peavy to labor, with the Rays leading and the 35-year-old pitcher teetering on the brink.

But Peavy and the Giants didn't blink.

"Just trying to minimize the damage. Obviously, the game didn't start as clean as we'd have liked it," Peavy said. "Next thing you know, you're in some trouble there."

Each jam that Peavy was in, he found a way out. When it was all said and done, he pitched six innings, allowed just one run, and kept the Giants afloat just long enough so they could break out late offensively in a 5-1 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday at Tropicana Field.

The Giants swept the Rays and have won eight straight for the second time this season. Peavy has allowed just one run over his last 12 innings.

"They made Jake work pretty hard for the first three innings," manager Bruce Bochy said. "For him to hold it to one run was really impressive considering all that happened behind him. He kept going, kept grinding and kept us in the game."

Peavy had been pushed back a day due to a stiff neck, and said after the game that it was definitely the right call to make. In his last start, he out-pitched 19-year-old Julio Urias of the Dodgers. On Sunday, he matched Jake Odorizzi.

At the outset of the season, Peavy looked like that wouldn't be possible. He had an ERA of 9.00 after six starts, allowing at least six earned runs in three of them. And when it looked like things might get out of control early on Sunday, like it did when things weren't going well, Peavy found a way to limit the damage.

"I think I can play this game and beat anybody," Peavy said. "I wouldn't show up if I didn't."

Sam Blum is a reporter for based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.