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Jake Peavy fights exhaustion as White Sox chase Tigers

Jake Peavy

Jake Peavy

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Updated: November 26, 2011 12:28AM

MINNEAPOLIS — You wouldn’t know it based on the 61/3 scoreless innings he pitched against the Twins on Tuesday night, but Jake Peavy is going on fumes as the season winds down.

Trailing the Tigers by 8½ games after Detroit’s win against Cleveland on Wednesday ­afternoon, the Sox have a slim chance of catching them. Considering that Peavy has pitched 112 innings in his first season following his major surgery and his fatigue level, it might seem wise to shut him down. But unless manager Ozzie Guillen hears that Peavy can’t go, he’s figuring on keeping him in the rotation.

“No, not yet,’’ Guillen said Wednesday. “I think we should keep it the same way. Right now, I don’t think I’m going to throw in the towel. If they want to throw in the towel that’s their problem. I think he will prepare himself for his next start. I don’t think there should be any problem with that. I expect him to go out there for his next start.’’

That would be Monday when the Tigers open a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field. Peavy would get five days rest with Zach Stewart and Philip Humber staying in the rotation.

Peavy said Wednesday he planned to find out from Don Cooper what the pitching coach has in mind. Cooper indicated he was leaning toward having Peavy pitch.

“There’s no doubt I feel worn down and tired,’’ said Peavy, who is 7-7 with a 4.92 ERA.

Quentin gets closer

Guillen said Carlos Quentin’s left shoulder (AC sprain) is progressing well enough to get him playing by the weekend.

“I like the way he swings. It seems like he’s pain-free,’’ Guillen said.

A minor-league rehab stint would be in order, but most teams’ seasons are over.

Konerko back

Paul Konerko returned to the lineup after a much-deserved day off.

Konerko needed seven home runs going into the game to ­become the sixth active player with 2,000 hits and 400 homers.He hadn’t homered in his last 61 at-bats, but his three singles against Carl Pavano in his first three at-bats Wednesday gave him 32 hits in his last 87 for a .368 average over that stretch.

After getting hit by a pitch on his left calf near the knee on July 31, Konerko played through considerable pain for weeks but put up an on-base percentage of .491 in August, the second-best OBP in the American League.

He swallowed his pride and for a lengthy stretch could only run much slower than he normally does.

“Most people in the game today would not have played — for a long period of time,’’ hitting coach Greg Walker said. “He gutted it up and went through it.

“He has had another solid year in a situation where it would have been real easy for him to get frustrated.’’

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