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Jake Peavy throws five hitless innings

Jake Peavy threw five hitless innings Saturday against Mariners. He struck out five walked one. | Lenny Ignelzi~AP

Jake Peavy threw five hitless innings Saturday against the Mariners. He struck out five and walked one. | Lenny Ignelzi~AP

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Updated: April 19, 2012 8:43AM

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jake Peavy needed the kind of outing he had Saturday.

After allowing nine runs in his first two Cactus League starts, Peavy threw five hitless innings against the Seattle Mariners, striking out five and walking one.

“I mean, it’s spring training,’’ Peavy said. “I normally don’t turn it up that much this early in spring training, but heck, after that [last] start, people were telling me, ‘I thought you told me you felt good.’ I do feel good. I thought we were working on stuff. I thought we were working on fastball command.

“If I make a bad pitch in spring training, I’m going to turn around and throw the same pitch until I get it. I don’t care what happens. I don’t care if they hit it. Sure, you want results, but this is 11 years of spring training for me, and I’ve been fortunate enough to not have to make a team, to be able to just go out and work on stuff. That’s what we’re doing. When the lights come on, it’s a whole different ballgame.’’

Peavy said that with all the injuries he has gone through since the White Sox acquired him in 2009, there was a point last season when he thought it was time to walk away.

“I remember after the All-Star break starting against [Justin] Verlander, C.C. [Sabathia], Verlander [again], and those used to be something I would live for,’’ Peavy recalled. “I’m on the other side saying, ‘How can I get through this and keep this thing close?’ That’s a bad frame of mind. When you can’t play the game the way you’re used to playing it, you say, ‘Man, maybe I’ll walk away and call it a nice career.’ I have too much pride, too much love for the game. I’m healthy, and I’m blessed.’’

That’s the key for Peavy: He’s healthy. How long it lasts is anyone’s guess, but he’ll take it for now.

Beyond this season

Peavy undoubtedly will become a free agent after this season, with the Sox expected to pass on the $22 million club option and pay the $4 million buyout. But Peavy said he isn’t pitching for his next deal.

“I want to pitch, and I want to be a part of something special,’’ Peavy said. “I want to win. I’ve never been even deep in the playoffs, and I want that chance.

“I will take care of next year when it gets there, but if it’s time for me to walk away, I’ll walk away. Not willingly, but I’ll wipe the hands clean and go and be a daddy.’’

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