Red Sox-Astros Preview

The Associated Press

Jake Peavy is no stranger to having his name come up in trade rumors this time of year, and 2014 is no different given the way the first half has gone for both him and Boston.

He's committed to helping the Red Sox as long as he's with the club, though, and he'll take the mound on the road Saturday against the Houston Astros trying to block out the distractions.

The right-hander was traded to Boston from the Chicago White Sox on July 30 last season as part of a three-team deal that sent former Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias to Detroit.

Chicago acquired Peavy (1-7, 4.64 ERA), a subject of trade speculation again this season, from San Diego on July 31, 2009.

"What's going to happen down the road really doesn't bother me," Peavy told MLB's official website. "Being moved is something I don't want to think about, but it's certainly a possibility and the reality of the situation."

Manager John Farrell is going about his business as if Peavy will remain in the fold.

"If I'm made aware that something is imminent, there will be a contingency plan," Farrell said. "There's no contingency for now."

Peavy's only victory came back on April 25 against Toronto, and he's posted a 5.33 ERA in the 13 starts since. Boston has lost his last seven outings, though he pitched well Sunday while giving up one earned run in six innings of a 7-6 loss to Baltimore.

Peavy hasn't faced the Astros since 2008, and he'll look to help the Red Sox (42-51) win their fourth straight after Friday's 8-3 victory in the series opener.

David Ortiz's three-run double in the sixth put Boston ahead by seven, and Christian Vazquez finished with his first three major league hits while driving in three runs from the No. 9 spot.

''We're playing with a lot of energy,'' said Farrell, whose club has won seven of eight meetings since Houston moved to the AL last season. ''Guys that have come up recently have injected some of that into us, but more than anything we're getting the timely hit.''

Chris Carter hit two solo homers and is batting .393 with six home runs during a career-best seven-game hitting streak for the Astros (39-55), who had their three-game winning streak snapped.

''Right now things are going well for me,'' Carter said. ''I hope things continue working out for me like this.''

Rookie outfielder George Springer, who is tied with Carter with a team-high 19 homers and leads Houston with 50 RBIs, was scratched Friday due to a right knee issue. It's unclear if he'll be available for this contest.

Collin McHugh was scheduled to be on the mound Saturday, but a finger blister forced the Astros to recall Brett Oberholtzer to make another spot start.

Oberholtzer (2-7, 4.66) last pitched in the majors July 3, when he allowed five runs in 6 1-3 innings of a 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. This will be his fourth stint with the Astros this season.

"He has the right mindset that comes with being able to understand where we are as a team and the times we've needed to plug him in," manager Bo Porter said. "He's saved us a lot of times when we needed to bring that guy up to keep our bullpen in good condition. He's delivered quality start after quality start."

The left-hander was solid in his only career start against Boston on Aug. 5, giving up four hits in seven innings of a 2-0 home victory.

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