Jake Peavy solid, gets big help in field

May, 8, 2013
5/08/13
11:36
PM CT
Ehalt By Matt Ehalt
Special to ESPNChicago.com
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NEW YORK -- Jake Peavy didn't miss a beat.

Despite not pitching in nearly two weeks due to back spasms, the veteran returned with an excellent outing.

[+] EnlargeJake Peavy
AP Photo/Seth WenigIn his first start since April 26, Jake Peavy gave up one run on three hits in 6⅔ innings. But he credited assists in the field. "Defense behind me was outstanding," he said.
He shut down the New York Mets in the Chicago White Sox's 6-3 win on Wednesday at Citi Field. Peavy gave up one run on three hits in 6⅔ innings, while striking out six in his first start since April 26.

"It starts with pitching, and Jake had a great game," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.

Peavy was scratched in his previous two scheduled starts due to the back spasms that first flared up on May 1. He had a six-minute bullpen session Monday and said he would be good to go in the series finale against the Mets.

On Wednesday, Peavy said his bullpen session went well as he got loose, but he didn't have a feel for his pitches and struggled with his command. In the second inning, he gave up a long homer to Lucas Duda that tied the game at 1-1.

Peavy found a way to work through it and kept the Mets off the board the rest of the game, navigating their lineup with ease. Aided by several great defensive plays by Alexei Ramirez and Dewayne Wise, Peavy departed after allowing a single with two outs in the seventh. He threw 114 pitches.

The right-hander said he will get some treatment at his house on the team's off-day on Thursday, and he's hoping the spasms are behind him. Peavy added there were no restrictions Wednesday and that he felt fine.

"Big win. We needed to come back and win after what happened last night," Peavy said in reference to the team's 1-0 loss in 10 innings on Tuesday. "It was nice of the boys to respond."

Helped out: Peavy wouldn't have had such a great line without some fantastic plays from Ramirez and Wise.

In the second, Wise made a running grab to snag a well-hit ball from Ike Davis that could have potentially scored a run, as baserunner Mike Baxter was halfway to third. Wise's back crashed into the wall in center after he caught the ball, and he almost had a chance to double up Baxter at first base.

Ramirez also had some slick-fielding plays up the middle, starting with the first Mets' batter of the game, as he robbed Jordany Valdespin of a hit. Ramirez also made a nice play to start an important inning-ending double play in the fourth inning, as the White Sox were only ahead 4-1 at the time.

"Defense behind me was outstanding," Peavy said. "Dewayne Wise going and getting that ball there that was hit deep to center. And obviously Alexei; we saw how well he played.”

“That's what we did last year,” he said. “We made the plays we're supposed to make. And we made good, outstanding plays from time to time and got some timely hitting."

De Aza a power hitter? With his sixth home run, outfielder Alejandro De Aza is on pace for more than 30 homers this season. He only hit nine last year in 131 games. His boost in home runs has correlated with a rise in strikeouts, though, as he now has 41 through 31 games.

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
10 1.88 122 110
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Abreu .299
HRJ. Abreu 31
RBIJ. Abreu 83
RJ. Abreu 56
OPSJ. Abreu .981
ERAC. Sale 1.88
SOC. Sale 122