Dominant work from Jake Peavy, a delirious pitching mismatch against the beleaguered Brett Myers, leadoff men reaching base in four consecutive innings–all were theoretically good ideas for breaking the White Sox’ five-game losing skid Sunday in Cleveland. But for five innings, all those plans seemed as impotent as, say, Dayan Viciedo against a high fastball, and they trailed 1-0 due to a lead off home run by Michael Bourn.
But after a sixth-inning Adam Dunn walk (a rarity these days), Paul Konerko worked a 3-1 count into an opportunity to punish a flagging Brett Myers 88 mph fastball over the hulking left field wall of Progressive Field. The blast gave the Sox the 2-1 lead they would sit on for the rest of the afternoon and momentarily transported them to a simpler time when they could complain about too many home runs.
For such an offensive output to be considered a breakout, it had to be enabled by the most dominant effort of the season by Jake Peavy. Peavy’s mixture of two-seamers, cutters and sliders victimized the heart of Cleveland order to the tune of seven strikeouts between Asdrubal Cabrera, Nick Swisher and Mark Reynolds, and 11 overall across seven one-run innings. Asdrubral couldn’t cover the inner-half of the plate, Swisher had Peavy extend the corners on him and Mark Reynolds tends to strike out without special circumstances.
Peavy opened up sharp earlier in the week against Washington too, and the specter of that late-game fade raised its head in Jake’s seventh and final inning of work. A Mark Reynolds squibber up the middle put the tying run on first base with one out and Jake over 90 pitches, but Peavy won the mound conference staring contest with Robin Ventura, stayed in to induce a flyout from Jason Giambi and fooled Ryan Raburn with a slider to end the threat.
An eighth inning solo shot from Alejandro De Aza (his second in as many days) provided some valued insurance for the Sox bullpen. Matt Thornton navigated through the eighth smoothly save for his failure to cover first on a Michael Bourn infield single, which resulted in him stomping on Bourn’s hand (he was sliding for no reason) before tumbling into and nearly decleating umpire Jim Joyce.
Addison Reed brought back some of the old 2012 drama by allowing a 450 foot foul ball to pinch-hitter Carlos Santana before walking him to bring up the tying run, and getting the final out via a sharp fly out to center by Jason Giambi.
The losing streak is dead, long live the next losin–no, wait, nevermind.
Team Record: 5-7
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