SEATTLE -- The true road trip from hell got much, much worse for the White Sox on Tuesday night.
Not only did the White Sox lose for an eighth straight time in a 7-4 contest against the Seattle Mariners, they also lost starting pitcher Jake Peavy perhaps indefinitely with a left rib injury.
Peavy allowed six runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings in front of 16,294 at Safeco Field before he was pulled early with a possible broken rib, a day after he had visited a doctor about the afflicted area.
X-rays taken Tuesday night were negative but Peavy, who is scheduled for an MRI on Wednesday morning, said the injury feels similar to when he suffered a broken rib in 2005.
The loss was the seventh in seven away games for the White Sox, who have never finished a road trip of six games or more without a victory.
“I can’t imagine throwing the ball in the next few days feeling the way I feel now,” Peavy said. “It’s something that’s pretty acute, pretty sharp. I couldn’t physically do much from the start of the game. Try to gut through it and it’s just frustrating. … I’m hurting to take a deep breath. Just walking I can feel it. Something is going on.”
That much was evident from the outset.
The White Sox ace’s fastball only reached 90 mph in a 42-pitch appearance.
Peavy allowed three runs in the first inning as Kendrys Morales had a two-out RBI single and Raul Ibanez followed with a two-run homer to right to put Seattle ahead 3-1.
Two innings later, Peavy, who said he might have also felt the injury as far back as last Thursday when his fastball averaged 90 mph in a loss to the Cubs, was out of the game.
Jason Bay singled and Morales and Ibanez each doubled to give the Mariners a 5-2 lead. Seattle went up 6-2 when Nick Franklin doubled off Brian Omogrosso to drive in Ibanez.
“Something just didn’t look right,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “I went out and checked and he just wasn’t able to get any velocity on it. … He might have had something he thought he could go through. It’s just one of those that got worse. Early on, you could see he was throwing, but it didn’t seem to have the zip that you normally see.”
Peavy said he initially noticed the injury over the weekend in Oakland. Monday’s doctor visit provided Peavy with several potential causes but the right-hander thought he could pitch anyway. By the time Peavy reached the bullpen for his warmup session he knew getting outs would be a challenge.
“I knew it was going to be tough to try to get through,” Peavy said. “And obviously as the game started you try to mix and match and try to figure out a way to get big league hitters out. I didn’t do a very good job of that throwing fastballs 84 mph.”
Losing Peavy for any significant amount of time would be a devastating blow to a White Sox squad already on the ropes.
Prior to his last start, Peavy had a 2.97 ERA and averaged 6.74 innings per start. He led the White Sox last season with 219 innings, the second-highest total of his career.
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Although they have struggled mightily with their bats, the White Sox have held on to the hope they can turn around their season in part because of the way Peavy and Chris Sale have pitched atop the rotation. A lengthy injury to Peavy might offer general manager Rick Hahn one more reason as to why he should consider breaking up an aging roster in favor of a youth movement. Though the White Sox dropped to eight games below the .500-mark, the team possesses several attractive pieces for contending teams.
Even after Peavy exited the White Sox displayed some fight. Down 6-2, Tyler Flowers doubled in a run in the eighth inning and Alejandro De Aza had an RBI single.
Earlier in the game, the White Sox snapped a 71-inning homerless streak when Adam Dunn hit his 13th to center field off Mariners starter Felix Hernandez. Dunn’s homer was the team’s first since he homered in the first inning of a May 26 win, a stretch of 256 at-bats.
Back in April, Dunn coined a three-city tour of Washington, D.C., Cleveland and Toronto the “road trip from hell.” The White Sox went 3-7 on that excursion as second baseman Gordon Beckham broke his left hamate bone and pitching coach Don Cooper was hospitalized with diverticulitis.