Right-hander Jake Peavy says he is determined to earn the team-high $16 million the White Sox are paying him this season. | Paul Beaty~AP
white sox 6, mariners 1
On the mound: Tony Pena (1-1) and Jeff Marquez each pitched two scoreless innings, although Marquez (three strikeouts) gave up four hits. Will Ohman pitched his second 1-2-3 inning in as many outings, and Gregory Infante pitched the ninth. Jeff Gray walked three and gave up the run.
At the plate: Alex Rios hit a two-run home run, the Sox’ first homer in four games. Tyler Flowers’ two-run double in his only at-bat highlighted a four-run eighth, and Dayan Viciedo went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Up next: At Angels, 2:05 today, MLB.
Updated: June 4, 2011 4:47AM
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The wait is finally over. White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy will walk up to a pitcher’s mound today and throw in a real, live game. With a national anthem, fans, umpires and everything.
‘‘There were times throughout the winter . . . I wondered if it would happen again,’’ Peavy said. ‘‘I’m excited that [today] is almost here.’’
The Sox play the Los Angeles Angels in Tempe, Ariz. Peavy will start and plans to throw his scheduled two innings, the same every starter has pitched during the first week of Cactus League games.
The last time Peavy was seen on the mound — in the second inning of a game July 6 against the Angels at U.S. Cellular Field — he hopped off bent to his right side, tucking his glove under his right armpit. Eight days later, he had surgery to re-attach a muscle under his right shoulder. He has rehabbed diligently and has stayed on course with the same workouts and throwing routines as other Sox pitchers.
General manager Ken Williams acquired the former Cy Young winner and two-time All-Star at a steep price: $3 million for the latter stage of 2009, $15 million for 2010 and a team-high $16 million this season. Peavy also is guaranteed $17 million next season, and it’s those big numbers that motivate him to return to his old form.
While Peavy is determined to hold up his end of the deal, Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen will look for the right balance between letting him go full speed ahead and reeling him in to avoid a setback.
Peavy’s goal all along has been to make the Opening Day roster.
‘‘Yeah, it’s possible,’’ Williams said. ‘‘He’s working for it, I will tell you that. We’ll be very judicious about this. We’ll see.’’
How Peavy feels Saturday might be more telling than how he feels around 1:30 p.m. today.
‘‘I trust that he’s going to be honest with us,’’ Williams said. ‘‘I have the medical information; he has the medical info. When he gives more effort and gets fatigued, let’s see how it works the next day. If these things are normal, then OK. If they are not, we will be safe more than sorry. He has to be 100 percent for him to go out there and risk further injury.’’
Today will feel odd and exhilarating at the same time.
‘‘It’s going to be different,’’ Peavy said. ‘‘As much as you want to throw in batting practice and on the side, when a batter gets in there . . . I don’t know if I’ll be going all out, but I’ll certainly be trying to get guys out and won’t be throwing cookies in there or throw like batting practice. Hopefully it will be a good step in the right direction. I’ve got my fingers crossed and expect the best.
‘‘I have a lot to prove to myself, my teammates over here and the front office. I want to be the guy they traded for.’’
Sox left-hander John Danks said Peavy has plenty of time to show that. For now, ‘‘the most important thing is a healthy Jake,’’ Danks said after his outing Thursday. ‘‘For him to go out there and feel good. The results don’t even matter.’’