Monday, March 14, 2011
Posted 5:05 p.m. Updated 7:05 p.m.
By Brett Ballantini
GLENDALE, Ariz. If there was a team Jake Peavy could have imagined having a smooth outing against, the offensively-challenged San Diego Padres might have been the one.
Both Peavy and lefty phenom Chris Sale were touched for three runs apiece, setting the foundation for the Chicago White Soxs 7-6 setback to the Fathers.
I felt OK, better than I expected, Peavy said. I made good progress today. Im excited about the direction I went in. Obviously I worked on some things, found some flaws out there in the middle part of the game, worked on some things, and stayed stubborn. I got good work in. It was a fun day. I climbed.
To a man, the White Sox agreed with Peavys assessment, that his six hits and a walk en route to three earned runs against two strikeouts was the best outing the righthander has had in his comeback.
It went very well, manager Ozzie Guillen said. The feedback from him in the dugout was the best I got from him in the three outings hed had. He was talking very positively. Today he was more aggressive than he was earlier. He let the ball go a couple of times. Im very happy with where he is right now.
Peavy threw the ball better than what his line says, said catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who clocked a two-run homer in the sixth as part of a 2-for-4 day. In the last inning we were trying to work on specific pitches in a specific spot out of the stretch when there were chances to put guys away. Instead of doing that, we just kind of continued to throw the same pitch.
Peavy was off to another strong start, taking just seven pitches (six strikes) to get through the first in 1-2-3- fashion. With two outs in the second, Peavy gave up a walk to Cedric Hunter and a single to Mike Baxter, but got Kyle Phillips to fly out to left to end the threat.
The righthander also allowed two baserunners in the third, surrendering back-to-back singles to Jason Bartlett (who had whiffed on three straight pitches in the first) and Chase Headley, but escaped any damage. The White Sox took the lead in the bottom of the third on a solo home run from Lastings Milledge.
Milledge turning heads
Peavy started the fourth inning from the stretch, giving up a sharp single to left from Cameron Maybin. Hunter drove him in with a double to right, and Baxter got his second hit of the game off of Peavy, crushing a home run into the White Sox bullpen in right. Peavy then retired the next three batters, all on ground outs to second base.
Peavy finished with 67 pitches, 47 for strikes, over his four innings.
Sale relieved Peavy and gave up another three earned runs, pushing his spring ERA to 7.36.
Im not concerned about him, but Im disappointed a little bit, Guillen said. Not because he gave up three runsthats part of the game. He was missing spots. The ball was supposed to be in and it was away. He was a little out of whack today, thats all. Pierzynski also said Sale was just a little bit off in his outing.
The White Sox scored two more runs in the eighth on an Alexei Ramirez two-run blast, but couldnt tie the game.
The team is doing a lot better than the record 6-10-1 says, Pierzynski said. I feel that were good. Guys have been coming in and throwing the ball well. As it gets closer to Opening Day, the hitters get closer and closer. Thats what you look for as a player.
Ozzie on Sale
Guillen admitted his disappointment with Sales outing, but remains encouraged about his prospects.
We have to be patient with this kid, he said. A lot of people think hes Sandy Koufax, 30 years in the big leagues, but this kid just came out of college two weeks ago or, last June. Its a learning process. I talked to the pitching coach Don Cooper and hes going to have a sideline pitching session. Its not about stuff, but where you locate your stuff.
Eight White Sox were moved out of the major-league clubhouse after the game. Triple-A Charlotte gains outfielder Stefan Gartrell, infielder Eduardo Escobar, and pitchers Anthony Carter and Freddy Dolsi. Double-A Birmingham adds pitchers Kyle Cofield and Nate Jones. Two other pitchers, Brandon Hynick and Miguel Socolovich, were simply reassigned to minor league camp.
Gartrell, we have to send him down, but this kid had a great spring training, Guillen said. Escobar played better than what people thought and opened a lot of peoples eyes. Were very excited about him and what he can do.
The White Sox roster now stands at 38 players: 18 pitchers, four catchers, 10 infielders and six outfielders.
Hopefully, its about 25 players but its never going to happen because of injuries and slumps, Guillen added. Its about 30 or 32 players, and players sent down have to be ready and prepared to help us in the summer.
Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.