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updated: 5/30/2011 11:28 PM

Peavy battles to treat himself to early birthday present

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  • White Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy delivers against Red Sox on Monday.

      White Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy delivers against Red Sox on Monday.
    Associated Press

  • Red Sox fans lean over the Green Monster to display a large American flag covering the wall during pregame Memorial Day ceremonies Monday.

      Red Sox fans lean over the Green Monster to display a large American flag covering the wall during pregame Memorial Day ceremonies Monday.
    Associated Press

  • The White Sox' Paul Konerko rounds the bases after his home run in the third inning Monday.

      The White Sox' Paul Konerko rounds the bases after his home run in the third inning Monday.
    Associated Press

  • The White Sox' Alexei Ramirez gets a pat on the back from manager Ozzie Guillen after scoring on a 2-run single by Carlos Quentin in the sixth inning Monday.

      The White Sox' Alexei Ramirez gets a pat on the back from manager Ozzie Guillen after scoring on a 2-run single by Carlos Quentin in the sixth inning Monday.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

BOSTON -- Jake Peavy said he struggled throughout this start. The results certainly didn't show it.

Peavy, making just his fourth start after working back from season-ending shoulder surgery last July, scratched through 7 solid innings to help the White Sox rebound from a pair of tough losses with a 7-3 win over the Boston Red Sox on Monday night.

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"It was just a grind. I really had nothing," Peavy said after his 112-pitch effort of the eve of his 30th birthday. "A start like that can make or break your season. I think my arm's still getting stronger on a daily basis."

Alexei Ramirez and Carlos Quentin each had a pair of RBI in a 4-run sixth inning as the White Sox snapped Jon Lester's seven-game winning streak.

The White Sox had lost at Toronto in 14 innings on Saturday and 13-4 on Sunday. The White Sox won for the fifth straight time at Fenway Park, the first time they've done that since 1982.

"We did a great job," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We had one the best lefties on the mound and made him throw (a lot) of pitches."

But it was Peavy, the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner, who was able to work his way through a challenging lineup on a night that he didn't feel right from the beginning.

"I think I'm going to have to alter my program on the days I pitch, throw a little longer to see if I can get loose," he said. "I kind of felt looser as we got later in the game."

Paul Konerko added a solo homer for the White Sox, who halted a three-game losing skid and won for the 11th time in their last 13 games against the Red Sox.

Adrian Gonzalez hit a solo homer for Boston, which lost its second straight but only its fourth in its last 17 games.

Peavy (2-0) held Boston to 3 runs and 6 hits with 2 strikeouts and no walks.

Jesse Crain got two outs before being hit on the side by Gonzalez's hard grounder, and Matt Thornton recorded the final four outs.

With the score tied at 3-3 in the sixth, the White Sox chased Lester (7-2) with 4 runs. Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham, back in the lineup after missing the previous two games after getting hit below the left eye with a relay throw, singled. Juan Pierre walked to load the bases before Ramirez's bloop fell safely behind first baseman Gonzalez for a 2-run double. Dan Wheeler relieved and Quentin singled in 2 more, making it 7-3.

The right-handed hitting Ramirez said through a translator that he was surprised that Lester, a lefty, faced him with Wheeler, a right-hander, throwing in the bullpen.

Lester gave up 7 runs, 8 hits, walked four and struck out four in 5⅔ innings, halting his eight-game unbeaten stretch. He gave up 8 runs in his only career start against the White Sox last season.

Lester didn't look sharp at the start either, allowing a pair of runs in the first as he struggled with his control.

"He was scattering a lot of pitches," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.

Lester agreed that he was fighting with his control.

"It was just one of those nights where I just battled myself and couldn't get in a rhythm," he said. "The ball was up. When I actually did throw it over the plate, it was up."

The White Sox had increased their lead to 3-1 in the third when Konerko homered off an advertisement above the Green Monster seats before Boston tied it with 2 runs in the bottom of the inning. It was his 376th career homer, tying him for 66th all-time with former White Sox and Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk, who was in Fenway Park and shown on the center-field video board as a one of Boston's legends.

Dustin Pedroia's 2-run single tied the game. The former AL MVP had been just 3-for-30 with 3 RBI with runners in scoring position and less than two outs.

The White Sox had grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first. Ramirez singled and Quentin was hit by a pitch, the first of two times that Lester hit him in the game. Quentin leads the AL with 11 hit by pitches. After Konerko singled to load the bases, A.J. Pierzynski drove in a pair with a single up the middle.

White Sox DH-1B Adam Dunn, hitless in 38 at-bats against left-handed pitching this season, was taken out of the lineup against lefty Lester. But Guillen was sticking by him.

"I know he's had a tough year," Guillen said. "I hope he's not thinking, 'They paid me all this money.' I talked to him in Toronto and told him don't worry about it. As long as he's healthy he's going to be in the lineup." Dunn signed a $56-million, 4-year contract as a free agent during the off-season.

RHP Bobby Jenks, who made his second rehab appearance with Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday, is expected to be activated off the 15-day DL today after beining sidelined with a right biceps strain.

The White Sox will start Phil Humber today. Gavin Floyd, who took the loss in relief of Saturday's 14-inning game in Toronto, will start Wednesday's series finale.

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