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DL likely for White Sox’ Jake Peavy

White Sox starter Jake Peavy gave up six earned runs fourth inning after injuring his groin. | Nam Y. Huh~AP

White Sox starter Jake Peavy gave up six earned runs in the fourth inning after injuring his groin. | Nam Y. Huh~AP

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Updated: September 22, 2011 12:31AM

The frustration of this White Sox season might be epitomized by starter Jake Peavy, who likely is headed to the disabled list again.

Less than a month after his ­return from shoulder surgery, Peavy left the game Sunday against the Detroit Tigers with a strained right groin. His exit after four innings was potentially the more serious consequence of the 7-3 loss.

‘‘I’ll probably miss more time now,’’ a glum Peavy said. ‘‘We’ll evaluate it and see some doctors, but it’d be hard for this thing to just go away. We have a lot of equipment [for treatment], but the way I feel when I walk, [the disabled list] is a pretty safe bet.’’

For a team hoping this homestand would be a much-needed springboard, it was one more disappointing turn in two months of inconsistency.

‘‘He was throwing the ball well,’’ said Paul Konerko, who returned to the lineup after missing two games following a wrist procedure Friday. ‘‘Going back to the Cleveland game [May 18], he threw great. At Fenway the other night, he had a game where he battled.’’

Peavy said the injury surfaced last week in Boston.

‘‘It started to tighten up,” he said. “I didn’t think much of it.’’

He was perfect through three innings, but when he broke to cover first base in the fourth to try to double up Don Kelly, Peavy felt some pain.

‘‘It was a grabbing sensation,’’ he said. ‘‘It wasn’t anything as painful as it got to be after that to where I really tried to quit using my leg.’’

That led to three walks — he had issued only one in his four previous starts — before a sacrifice fly and a double set up Ryan Raburn’s grand slam. The six runs in the inning equalled the most allowed by the Sox this season.

‘‘If I had been healthy, I can promise you that wouldn’t have happened,’’ Peavy said. ‘‘Today would have been a fun day to be out there and a good day for us to win a series.’’

As it is, the Sox are back to five games below .500 (28-33), trailing the first-place Cleveland Indians by seven games and the second-place Tigers by 41/2 .

‘‘I wish we’d be more consistent,’’ manager Ozzie Guillen said of the team’s offense. ‘‘I don’t say we played bad. It was one bad inning. But I wish we were more consistent and could put together a longer streak.’’

The Sox left 10 men on base and were 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position against Brad Penny (5-4) and three relievers.

‘‘We won the first game and battled [Saturday] against a tough guy [Justin Verlander], and today we were off to a good start and it just went down the tubes,’’ Konerko said. ‘‘All we can do is dust ourselves off and be ready to go tomorrow.’’

The Sox have one victory in their last 12 against the Tigers, and their record against American League Central foes is 6-9.

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