GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The velocity is definitely there and the stamina, well, it almost is too. With one more off-day outing to go, Jake Peavy feels about as ready as he can after he threw 106 pitches in five innings on Saturday night.
The White Sox starter admitted he got tired in his final inning but even that’s excusable as he tried with all his might to track down another infield hit with a dive. He also dove for one grounder earlier and retired Andre Ethier on a comebacker, too.
Peavy’s four-seam fastball touched 93 mph on the radar gun and his slider hit 87 mph, a full 4.2 mph faster than it averaged last season, per fangraphs.com.
“I couldn’t be happier how camp went really at this point and time,” Peavy said. “I’m healthy. I did get tired that last night. That was pretty obvious. … But I’m super excited the way the ball is coming out of my hand. I’m excited other than a first-inning walk to (Matt) Kemp, I felt very good with command.”
Peavy threw 106 pitches in his first outing against major leaguers since March 3.
The right-hander came out sharp with three scoreless innings against a Los Angeles Dodgers lineup that featured Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp and Ethier.
Peavy allowed a run in the fourth after he hit Gonzalez with an 0-2 pitch and allowed a single to Ethier. But the Dodgers scored three more times in the fifth.
Peavy allowed four runs, seven hits, walked one and struck out five in five innings.
Even so, Gonzalez, who played with him for four seasons in San Diego, is impressed by the way his former teammate has bounced back.
“His velocity, he’s the same repertoire,” Gonzalez said. “Guys are coming in saying the same things (about him). He’s as tough an at-bat as it gets. He’s a special guy. I’m glad to see him healthy.”
In between his previous Cactus League outing and Saturday Peavy pitched in two minor-league games and a simulated game. In fitting fashion he’ll stay in camp until the day after the White Sox have left for Chicago to pitch in one more minor-league game. But Peavy said those outings have just as much intensity attached.
“That’s a huge shot in the arm for those guys to show they belong and they can have big league at-bats off of a big league pitcher,” Peavy said. “You better be ready to pitch.”
Crain steps forward
Jesse Crain was in a positive frame of mind and still hopes he can be ready in time for Opening Day after he threw two innings in a minor-league game on Saturday afternoon.
The reliever, who has a strained adductor (hip), threw 20 pitches and is expected to pitch again Monday for the major league team. Crain has only one Cactus League appearance this spring.
“My leg didn’t act up, I didn’t feel anything. It felt good, I feel like it was a step forward for sure,” Crain said. “The good thing is I’ve been able to play catch, I’ve been able to keep my arm in shape the whole time. Even the times I got on the mound and my leg bothered I’ve still been able to at least pitch. For the most part I feel like all my pitches will be there. It’s just making my leg feel good.”
If Crain holds up through Monday’s game and another on Wednesday he still has a chance to avoid the disabled list, manager Robin Ventura said.
“There’s small steps you take, this is really the first one of just making sure he’s out of the woods,” Ventura said. “He looked fine. You just monitor and looked a lot better today than it did a couple of days ago.”
[Watch: Ventura updates Crain's status]
Outfielder Alex Rios didn’t play on Saturday night as a precaution because of a stiff lower back, Ventura said. Rios felt something in his lower back while he worked out, Ventura said.
“The way things are going now its better off scratching him now than scratching him in two days,” Ventura said.
-- Former Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson attended Saturday night’s game at Camelback Ranch. So too did a Cactus League record 13,721 patrons.
-- Reliever Nate Jones pitched a scoreless inning in Los Angeles’ 10-4 win. Brian Omogrosso pitched 2/3 of an inning.
-- Reliever Matt Lindstrom allowed six runs (three earned) in 1/3 of an inning. He allowed three hits, walked three and was hurt by three of the White Sox four errors, including his own on an errant pickoff throw.
-- Catcher Tyler Flowers went 1-for-4 with a run scored but also committed two errors.