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updated: 4/18/2012 11:04 PM

Peavy puts White Sox back in order

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  • White Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy worked 7 strong innings to get the win Wednesday night.

      White Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy worked 7 strong innings to get the win Wednesday night.
    Associated Press

 
 

Mired in a three-game losing streak and teetering between not very good and boring, the White Sox needed a jolt Wednesday night.

The Sox needed a spark, a kick in the pants, anything.

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Fortunately, it was Jake Peavy's turn to pitch.

"It starts with Jake and just what he brings, energy wise, and the way he's been pitching," manager Robin Ventura said. "He just brings the level up. I think guys feed off that."

Finally healthy and making his third start of the season, Peavy continued to show flashes of his old, ace-like self.

The 30-year-old pitched 7 strong innings and pointed the way to an 8-1 victory. Afterward, Peavy was still jacked up.

"I was trying to make pitches," he said after allowing 1 run on 4 hits while piling up 8 strikeouts with no walks. "It was a good team win. The boys showed up and played outstanding.

"A.J. (Pierzynski) behind the plate was outstanding, catching and throwing the ball, and Alexei (Ramirez) played great defense. Just a great team effort. The boys swung the bats. And we needed it tonight after a couple tough losses."

Peavy rattled off a long list of superlatives, but he forgot to mention Pierzynski's 2-run homer in the second inning, Adam Dunn's 3-run double and 3 walks and Gordon Beckham's run-scoring single in the sixth inning that snapped an 0-for-14 slide.

With so many good things happening for the White Sox in all phases of the game, it was difficult to keep track.

"Jake, listen, he gives you everything he's got," Beckham said. "So it's always been nice to play behind him. You like playing behind guys that you know have everything in it.

"He pitched great. He has been pitching great. We need him to keep going and be the guy we know he is."

Peavy has gotten progressively better in each of his outings, and now Alex Rios (six-game hitting streak), Dunn, Alejandro De Aza and maybe even Beckham are following the same path.

Brent Morel was 0-for-5 Wednesday, dropping his average to .103. Beckham is still at .152, and Dunn's batting .195, but one or two big games can quickly turn that around.

"The worst thing you can do is put your average up the first 100 at-bats because then you get people pressing over nothing," said Dunn, who was 0-for-15 against left-handers this season before clearing the bases against Orioles reliever Troy Patton in the sixth inning.

"It can change in a couple of games. I definitely don't put any stock in, I shouldn't say numbers, but early in the season it can change so quick. I've started off slow before. It's a lot different than last year because I feel good."

Ventura is a patient manager, so all of the Sox' struggling hitters should just take a deep breath and relax.

"He doesn't put pressure on us," Beckham said. "Obviously, everybody wants to perform. Robin knows that. I mean, he knows it. He's been through it, so he's a patient guy, and he's had to be with me lately. I appreciate everything he does for me, for sure."

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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