Peavy hopes to stay in Chicago

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Peavy hopes to stay in Chicago

Monday marks the three-year anniversary of the White Sox's courtship of Jake Peavy. On May 21, 2009, a deal was agreed to with San Diego that would've sent a then-healthy Peavy to the South Side. But Peavy declined to waive his no-trade clause the first time, opting to stay in San Diego.

This summer, though, Peavy may not have a chance to decline a trade.

Peavy's contract stipulates he can block deals to eight teams. He doesn't want to leave Chicago, although he knows there's a chance he gets dealt if the White Sox fall out of playoff contention.

"I love being here, and this is the place I want to play," Peavy said after throwing 6 13 shutout innings against the Cubs on Sunday. "If I had it my way, this is where I'd play until I couldn't play no more. I love it, I love Robin and his staff, and I love my teammates. We'll see what happens. I certainly understand the game. I want to play in Chicago, that's for sure."

There's little, if any, chance Peavy would get dealt if the Sox were winning and competing in the division. That'll keep Peavy through the end of the season. But his future in Chicago beyond 2012 is dicey given his 22 million option and 4 million buyout for 2013.

That's where economics come into play. While Peavy isn't pleading with fans to come out to U.S. Cellular Field, he knows good attendance could help keep him around Chicago for at least one more season.

"I hope our fans get behind us and understand that we got a chance to compete in this division, and we showed that," Peavy said. "We haven't played our best baseball, but we're still hanging in there and beating some good teams and playing with the teams in our division. I hope our fans see that and want to come out and get involved. We certainly can feed off that energy.

"If we're going to stay together as a team and not have some of these pieces traded away, we're going to have to have some fan support, we're going to have to play some good baseball. It goes hand in hand. I certainly expect this weekend and next week too, hopefully our fans will feed off some of this momentum, and with school getting out and they'll show up at the ballpark."

One series that fans certainly will show up to is the second installment of the BP Crosstown Cup, to be played in late June. Fan support is traditionally at its highest when the Cubs and Sox meet. In the future, though, there's talk of the two teams only meeting three times a season.

"There's no way," Peavy bristled at cutting the series in half. "How do you take this rivalry away? This is awesome for the fans and for the city, it's a lot of fun. It's a lot of fun for us to play in. I certainly hope that wouldn't be the case. We need to play three at Wrigley, we need to play three at our place. That's just the way it is and the way I hope it stays."

Peavy's holding a raffle to raise money for cancer research in which a winner and three friends get suite tickets to all three games of the BP Crosstown Cup series at U.S. Cellular Field, get to watch batting practice from the field and get to go out for lunch with him.

"This is a good start," Peavy said. "This is something thats not easy to do, but at the same time I can get a little out of my way and change my routine a little bit to help my buddies and family battling these diseases that Im fighting with them as much as I can."

Peavy wants to do more, but when asked about future charity events in Chicago, he said he wasn't sure. He knows he might not be here come Aug. 1.

To Peavy's credit, he's done everything in his power to keep the White Sox afloat and stay in the city. He lowered his ERA to 2.39 with his start on Sunday, and the White Sox are 6-3 in his nine starts. But he's pitched well enough in eight of those nine outings for the White Sox to deserve a victory.

That's something that perhaps wouldn't have happened last year or in 2010 as Peavy battled injuries and ineffectiveness. While he's only about a third of the way into his season, Peavy has finally started to put things together and look like the ace the White Sox thought they were acquiring in 2009.

"It's the first time here being somewhat healthy and being able to compete and not worry about just getting on the field," Peavy explained. "Obviously, my time here hadn't been good. But I won some games here and there, just trying to be a good teammate through all the injuries and everything else. But it is nice to be able to feel like you're an integral part and help out."

Preview: Jose Quintana, White Sox continue series with Mariners tonight on CSN

Preview: Jose Quintana, White Sox continue series with Mariners tonight on CSN

The White Sox continue their series against the Seattle Mariners, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 5:30 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Tonight’s starting pitching matchup: Jose Quintana (10-9, 2.84 ERA) vs. Ariel Miranda (1-0, 5.49 ERA)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

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Chris Sale strikes out 14 but White Sox fall to Mariners

Chris Sale strikes out 14 but White Sox fall to Mariners

Felix Hernandez has proven for years that he doesn’t need much help.

But the White Sox provided him with three free outs on the bases anyway on Friday night.

Those mistakes allowed Hernandez to hold the White Sox in check as they wasted a 14-strikeout performance from Chris Sale in a 3-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners in front of 25,651 at U.S. Cellular Field. Sale retired 16 in a row to end it, but it wasn’t enough as the White Sox dropped back to five games below .500.

“We didn’t run the bases very well tonight,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “That ends up costing you. You’re getting something going against them, and it just takes the wind out of your sails. Both guys pitched great.

“They just executed better than we did when they got the chance. Both guys were going strong. The way we ran the bases, we didn’t deserve to win that game.”

Sale (15-7) deserved much better than to lose for the fifth time in his last six decisions.

[MORE: White Sox trade catcher Dioner Navarro to Blue Jays]

Though he allowed a run in the second, third and fourth innings, Sale got on a roll late.

After Adam Lind’s two-out RBI double in the fourth, Sale found an extra gear and retired the last 16 Mariners to hit, including 10 strikeouts. He struck out the side in the sixth and seventh innings and afforded his teammates a chance to rally.

“Thank God we did it early because as everybody saw, when he gets on a roll it’s like lights out,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “He’s obviously one of the best pitchers in the league for a reason. We had no chance, really, after the fourth and fifth inning. He got into a groove and got all his pitches working.”

Two of Seattle’s three runs off Sale came on opposite-field drives as Lind doubled to left in the fourth and Franklin Gutierrez homered to right in the second inning. Sale walked none and only allowed five hits and three runs in nine innings. He threw strikes on 88 of 120 pitches.

It was the 13th complete game of Sale’s career and his fifth this season.

“I wanted to find a groove and I felt like after the fourth inning I got into a pretty good groove, that cruising speed I was talking about,” Sale said. “I just tried to lengthen it as much as I could, just fill up as many innings as I could. Just give us a chance to win, keep us in the game.”

While Sale kept his team in the game, they repeatedly took themselves out of it.

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The White Sox had plenty of chances against Hernandez, none better than the bottom of the eighth inning. Trailing by two runs, Avisail Garcia and Tyler Saladino singled on both sides of a J.B. Shuck fielder’s choice. Adam Eaton’s one-out walk knocked Hernandez out of the game after 104 pitches.

But closer Edwin Diaz got Tim Anderson to hit into a fielder’s choice as third baseman Shawn O’Malley made a perfect throw home on the slow roller for a force out. Jose Abreu then fouled out to leave the bases loaded. Diaz retired the side in order in the ninth for his 11th save.

Todd Frazier homered in the seventh inning of Hernandez for the team’s only run, but they should have had more. The White Sox had the leadoff man reach base in five of eight innings started by Hernandez, who allowed a run and eight hits in 7 1/3 innings. Hernandez erased two of those five as he picked off Frazier and Shuck in the second and third innings. He also got out of a first-and-third jam in the fifth inning when Shuck lined into a double play and Omar Narvaez was caught leaning.

“That’s the frustrating part,” Ventura said. “You know you’re not really going to have too many opportunities (against Hernandez). You might be able to hit and run or all of a sudden you’re first and third. But if you just take it out of your own hands, that’s where you scratch your head.”

White Sox hope second-rounder Alec Hansen's 'fun ride' continues at Kannapolis

White Sox hope second-rounder Alec Hansen's 'fun ride' continues at Kannapolis

The way he dominated the Pioneer League had to boost to Alec Hansen’s confidence. It also prompted his promotion.

When the White Sox sent their second-round pick to Great Falls last month it was in the hope he could rebound from a rough junior season at Oklahoma that caused his draft stock to fall. Once thought to be the potential first overall pick of the 2016 draft, Hansen was selected 49th after he posted a 5.40 ERA and walked 39 batters in 51.2 innings. But Hansen — who made his first start at Single-A Kannapolis on Friday — looked every bit the first-rounder at Great Falls with a 1.23 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 36.2 innings.

“We wanted to put him in a position where there was a little less pressure to start off the season,” White Sox player development director Nick Capra said. “There's always pressure, but it's a little less magnified in the Pioneer League. We wanted to get him on the right road. We did a couple things with him mechanically and he took off with it.”

“We kind of held him hostage in Great Falls a little bit too long. He’s been really good. He’s double-digit strikeouts every night. He’s not walking people.”

Hansen is expected to make two starts at Kannapolis before the team’s season ends. He earned a no decision after he allowed three earned runs and five hits with two walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Columbia Fireflies on Friday.

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Capra described the mechanical changes the White Sox made with Hansen as minor. Essentially, they want Hansen to take advantage of his 6-foot-8 frame and stay taller and release the ball more quickly. They believe it will help him better command his pitches.

Through 11 minor-league starts, Hansen has walked 18 batters in 49 innings (he also pitched seven innings in Arizona). That’s compared with the 96 batters he walked in 145 innings in college.

“Our player development guys deserve so much credit for the way they've handled it,” amateur scouting director Nick Hostetler said. “There was a little bit of concern about the confidence part of it, just him taking the ball every fifth day and knowing that we believe in him. Our pitching guys and PD guys deserve a huge amount of credit for just the time they put into it. They really, really know how to make these guys excel and succeed. Been a pretty fun ride to watch and I hope it continues.”