BOSTON — One night after Nathan Eovaldi hit five second-inning homers against the Houston Astros, Nick Pivetta’s Wednesday night started ominously when the right-hander hit a leadoff homer to Jose Altuve to wrap up a 10-pitch game. . battle. The select few fans who had made it to Fenway Park in time for the early start had every right to let out a worrying groan.
However, what followed Pivetta was nothing short of spectacular as he allowed only one Astro to get to the base from that point forward on the path to ultra rare full game victory. Pivetta struck out eight batters and allowed Altuve’s homer and a ground rule double to Michael Brantley in the seventh, needing 112 pitches to complete nine innings.
Pivetta’s nine-inning complete game was only the third of its kind this season in all of Major League Baseball, and the second in the American League thus far. (Reid Detmer’s no-hitter was the other.) It was Pivetta’s second complete game and first since 2019.
It was also the first complete game by a Red Sox pitcher since 2019, with Chris Sale becoming the last Boston pitcher to go all the way. Rick Porcello and David Price each pitched a complete game in 2018.
“I just feel like I had all my pitches going. It was just one of those nights, I was competing in the zone, the curveball was nice, I was able to use the split finger when I wanted to and just put these guys away when they swung early, so made it a little easier for me,” Pivetta told NESN matter-of-factly before walking off the field.
Pivetta was able to retire 18 straight Astros batters following Altuve’s home run, explaining that he was trying to keep his thought process as simple as possible while doing so.
“I’m just focusing pitch by pitch, inning by inning. I’m trying not to overcomplicate it,” he said. “I’m just trying to stick to the fundamentals and do the right things.”
It was Pivetta’s third straight good start, as he is now 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in 22 innings over his last three outings. He allowed 10 hits and a walk and struck out 20 batters during that period. He had been 0-4 with a 7.84 ERA before the current streak.
Fortunately for Pivetta and the Red Sox, Boston’s offense provided plenty of leeway to secure the win, giving the Red Sox their second straight series win. The Red Sox had gone 1-7-2 in their 10 series this season, not winning a series since winning two of three at Detroit during their second series of the year.