Peavy leads White Sox to 7-4 win; was it his last?
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com July 25, 2013 4:09PM
Updated: July 25, 2013 10:31PM
Jake Peavy did everything in his power to give the White Sox the best possible return on a potential trade. Six days before the non-waiver deadline, the 2007 National League Cy Young winner and three-time All-Star looked and felt healthy, possessed his usual good command and left in the eighth inning to a warm ovation from a crowd of 30,348.
Peavy waved as he walked off. Was it a wave goodbye?
‘‘It was very humbling. It was emotional for me,’’ said Peavy, who came to the Sox from the San Diego Padres in a deadline trade in 2009. ‘‘If it was the last time I pitch here at U.S. Cellular with this uniform on, it was a nice way to go out. It meant the absolute world to me. I hope everyone knows that.’’
With scouts watching Peavy’s every move, the right-hander allowed four hits — three of them home runs — in a 7-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers that prevented a four-game sweep.
The feeling around the park was that this was likely Peavy’s last game in a Sox uniform. He is scheduled to start in Cleveland on Tuesday, and he’s under contract next season, so general manager Rick Hahn could entertain a trade in the offseason if he doesn’t get something similar to the four prospects the Cubs received for Matt Garza.
Peavy has talked with Hahn but said he doesn’t have a gut feeling about what’s in store.
‘‘I really don’t,’’ he said. ‘‘We’ll just have to sit and wait. I could be traded and I could be a part of this going forward. Either way, I’ll be OK. I’m a big boy and understand the situation.’’
‘‘I don’t want him to go,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘I enjoy him being on our team; I know what he means. I don’t make that decision so, again, I appreciate him being on our team right now, and I hope he’s here through next year, too.’’
If it was a sendoff, numerous Sox chipped in for a parting gift. Paul Konerko and Jeff Keppinger singled in runs in the first inning against Justin Verlander (10-8) to give Peavy (8-4) a 2-0 lead, catcher Tyler Flowers doubled in a run and hit his ninth homer, and Alexei Ramirez broke a 2-all tie with a two-out, two-run single in the fourth inning.
It was Peavy’s second start since coming off the disabled list with a fractured rib. He struck out seven and walked two and pitched better than his line indicated, Flowers said.
‘‘For the most part, I’d say he was pretty sharp,’’ Flowers said. ‘‘Definitely not his best, but his fastball had a lot of velocity and his cutter had good action. We really tried to work in the curveball later in the game.’’
Torii Hunter homered in the fourth and Victor Martinez homered in the seventh, the latter a relatively painless blow that cut the Sox’ lead to 7-3. Brayan Pena homered to right field to open the eighth.
That shot ended Peavy’s day at 118 pitches, and Matt Lindstrom, who, like Peavy, is probably on the trading block, pitched a scoreless eighth before Addison Reed worked a scoreless ninth for his 26th save.
Peavy has his things packed in case a trade happens; he knows from experience there isn’t a lot of time to move. But he was still — at least for this day — attached to his current team.
‘‘To beat a great pitcher like Verlander, with those two-out hits like Alexei and Rios, even Paulie in the first, big two-out hits, big efforts by the boys . . . to win a game we needed to not get swept was big, especially beating that guy,’’ Peavy said.