Complete 180: Peavy fights off flu, hurls gem

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Complete 180: Peavy fights off flu, hurls gem

Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011
Posted: 9:43 p.m. Updated: 11:18 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com White Sox InsiderFollow @CSNChi_Beatnik
Box score
VIDEO: Ozzie praises fatigued, ill Peavy
VIDEO: Santos wants to finish strong

MINNEAPOLIS Sometimes, it seems as if Jake Peavy looks at the diamond as his own private spaghetti western.

What the veteran lacks in Clint Eastwood wrinkles he boasts in rotation ace swagger. And like a true Man With No Name, the minute hes counted outand Tuesday night Peavy was battling both the perception that hes done for the year and a sudden flu that up and bit himhe leaps like a leopard out of the bush and looks like he cannot lose.

Such was how Tuesdays 3-0 Chicago win over the Twins transpired. While many proper pundits were calling for Peavy to be shut down with the White Soxs elimination number imminent, Peavy rocked a rookie-laden Minnesota for 6 13 innings of four-hit, nine-strikeout ball. His 72 game score clocks the game in as Peavys third-strongest start of the season.

Time for the transition to 2012

I was a little more aggressive because some of their guys were out of the lineup, Peavy said. When you dont know guys that well, you go after them as hard as you can. I had OK stuff tonight and battled. I didnt have too many 1-2-3s until the middle innings but I competed and I had a good game plan. I followed what the boys did yesterday and scratched out enough to call it a win.

We had a good pitching performance by Jake, even if he is under the weather, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. Hes throwing the ball pretty good. He commanded well He even struck out people on a couple of fastballs up, which means the ball is coming out of his hand better.

Offensively, the Pale Hose were characteristically modest, but these days in Minnesota, where the Twins have put up a total of just one run in the first three games of this series, modesty can morph into romps.

Alejandro De Aza provided all the support Peavy would need with an RBI single in the second. For good measure, in the fourth, Alex Rios clocked a massive blast to left field, continuing his comfort at Target Field, and Brent Morel wrapped scoring up with an RBI single one inning later.

Its the Rios resurgencehitting in six straight games and going .423 over that stretchthat is most encouraging, even as the White Sox are not overwhelming opponents with offense. The centerfielder is not only playing sharper defense but is no longer the worst on the team in OPS, raising his disappointing 2011 average to .590, with the .600 level in sight.

Every time Alex wants to pull the ball, its a ground ball somewhere, but when its up the middle this kid has a lot of potential, Guillen said. Hes a pretty good athlete. When he stays in the middle of the field, he does what hes doing right now. The last couple of weeks hes helped himself to have a better chance to get hits.

Will Ohman, Jason Frasor, Matt Thornton and Sergio Santos secured the win for Peavy with a combined 2 23 innings of two-hit, four-K ball, Santos earning his 29th save with a clean ninth.

Santos has had a gilded season but had been roughed up over his past two outings, so he was much obliged for the 1-2-3.

I try to take every situation as the same, although obviously it's easier to have a clean inning, where you go in from the beginning because you have your routine that you're used to, Santos said. It's nice to go out there and get some outs.

After the all-out debacle of Detroit, Santoswho suffered personally with a nightmare, fall-from-ahead blown save and loss in the middle game against the Tigers--Minnesota has proven the cure for what ails.

We got beat up pretty good in Detroit, and to come out here against Minnesotawho we dont usually play well againstit was good to put some runs up and pitch really well. We're playing really good baseball right now. Hopefully we can finish this year right.

No matter the formula or circumstances, Guillen wasnt going to get in the way of success, or a pad that widened to two games above .500 (71-69) with the win.

We had a couple of big hits and a couple of big plays, but a wins a win, no matter how you play, he said. We can play well like that. The enthusiasm in the dugout makes us feel pretty optimistic. Its fun when you win.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

Today on CSN: White Sox square off against Padres

Today on CSN: White Sox square off against Padres

The White Sox are back in action in spring training as they square off against the San Diego Padres. Coverage begins this afternoon at 2 p.m. on CSN!

Probable starters: Jhoulys Chacin vs. Dylan Covey

Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes

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In-Game Live: Follow along during the action all game

White Sox: Jose Quintana pleased with final warmup before Opening Day start

White Sox: Jose Quintana pleased with final warmup before Opening Day start

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jose Quintana was pleased with his final warmup before Opening Day.

The White Sox Opening Day starter threw 48 pitches (30 strikes) against a Milwaukee Brewers minor league team at Camelback Ranch on Tuesday. Quintana allowed two hits, two runs (one earned), walked one and struck out three in three-plus innings. He next pitches at home on Monday against the Detroit Tigers.

"I finished my preparation on a high note," Quintana said. "I'm heading to the season with good energy and satisfied with all the worked and effort that I put in my preparation.

"I'm absolutely ready for the season to start."

A tweet from USA Today's Bob Nightengale on Tuesday suggested Quintana will start the season as a member of the White Sox despite myriad rumors. Nightengale noted that the Houston Astros refuse budge on what they're willing to pay for the 2016 All-Star. The White Sox have also held firm on their asking price and haven't been motivated by any of the offers they've received to move Quintana.

The team reduced the number of players still in camp to 34 on Tuesday with the trade of Peter Bourjos and by cutting nonroster invitees Cory Luebke and Matt Purke. Luebke, who has been sidelined for six days after he tweaked his hamstring, finished the spring with a 0.96 ERA in 9 1/3 innings. He can opt out of his minor-league deal in May. Purke struck out eight in eight innings and finished with a 2.25 ERA. 

Both had been in the mix for one of two open bullpen spots.

Fellow reliever Jake Petricka looked much calmer on Tuesday than he did after taking a comebacker off his hand Monday. X-rays were negative and Petricka played catch. He hopes to pitch as scheduled this weekend in Milwaukee. 

"This is just one of those you do everything you can do to stay healthy, and its part of the game you can't control," Petricka said. "You never want that to happen, especially this late in camp. "But we dodged a bullet and we're good to go."

The White Sox also had a close call with second baseman Tyler Saladino, who was hit by a pitch in the left wrist in minor league action on Monday. Saladino received treatment and could return to action on Wednesday.

"He's doing good, we're just holding him back today for my well being," Renteria said.

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Renteria said reliever Juan Minaya is improving but still likely to start the season on the DL. Minaya suffered an abdominal tear in mid-March. 

"He has been improving solidly and responding to the treatments," Renteria said.

Yolmer Sanchez went 2-for-2 with an RBI and scored a run in a 7-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Surprise, Ariz. 

Michael Ynoa allowed an unearned run and a hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings. 

Zack Burdi struck out three in a scoreless inning.