Even though a strategically placed note on a cap in his locker said otherwise, Hector Noesi said he had no extra motivation in Sunday's start against the Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field.
That was the note, and it clearly seemed to mean Noesi delivered a message in the Sox' 1-0 win over Seattle.
In April, the Mariners traded Noesi to the Rangers for cash considerations. Two weeks later, the White Sox claimed the right-hander off waivers from Texas.
"It was not motivation, I just go out there and pitch," Noesi said after allowing only 5 hits over 6⅔ innings. "Yeah, it did cross my mind, but if I put it in my mind I would get lost trying to do too much."
Instead, Noesi shut down his former team with the help of an effective changeup.
"He was good," manager Robin Ventura said. "He had a great changeup, had a good feel for it. It looked lively coming out of his hand. He got in a few little ruts there but when you can throw that changeup at any time, I think that just becomes an equalizer for him."
The Sox scored the only run of the game in the first inning when Conor Gillaspie walked, went to third on Jose Abreu's single and scored on Seattle starter Taijuan Walker's wild pitch.
Gillaspie left the game in the fifth inning after being hit by a pitch on the right knee from reliever Dominic Leone.
"I know he couldn't walk very well," manager Robin Ventura said. "It sounded bad and he seemed like he couldn't do anything so we had to take him out."
Not only did Jake Petricka pick up the save for the White Sox on Sunday, he logged 2 perfect innings and ran his moving fastball up to 98 mph.
Manager Robin Ventura said the job is still up for grabs, but Petricka was impressive.
"Jake's tough," Ventura said. "He's done some good things for us."
Nate Jones came into spring training as the leading candidate to close for the White Sox, but the hard-throwing reliever has not been healthy this season.
Jones had minor back surgery in early May and the original hope was a return in late July or early August.
"He probably is aiming for it, but whether he gets there is there a whole another thing," manager Robin Ventura said. "He's lightly throwing. It's not enough to go out there and pitch today. But as far as how he's feeling, it's progressing. That's basically the word I get. I want to know when they're a little closer, when they're actually throwing to hitters in a simulated capacity."