Peavy threw 87 pitches over six innings, and although he gave up four runs on seven hits to the Los Angeles Angels, it would have been less with better defense or a better call at second base from umpire Brian Gorman. The White Sox rallied to win it by scoring two runs in the ninth inning and two more in the 10th for a 6-4 victory.
Peavy was making his first since July 6, when his latissimus dorsi muscle tore away from the bone. Coincidentally, he was facing the Angels in that game too.
"You got to get in jams and feel your way through it," Peavy said afterward. "Deeper into the game it's like riding a bike. I felt comfortable tonight, threw strikes, had command, threw all kind of pitches. If I get a quality start and maybe give up a run or two maybe we win in regulation. But I'll never complain about a White Sox win."
The right-hander has had two setbacks since the start of spring training, one for rotator cuff tendinitis and the other because of discomfort from scar tissue.
"This guy was everywhere and did everything the doctors say, everything the trainers say and the general manager say, everything the pitching coach say. He did it right away and he did it right. That's why I have more respect for him than anybody else."
Peavy gave up his first run in the first inning on an RBI triple from Torii Hunter that White Sox left fielder Juan Pierre actually tracked down. But the ball hit Pierre's glove and bounced out as he got to the wall. Because of the degree of difficulity on the play, it was not ruled an error.
The final Angels run off Peavy came in the sixth inning. Howie Kendrick reached base on a two-out bunt single and stole second, although television replays appeared to show that Alexei Ramirez's tag at the bag was in time. Alberto Callaspo followed with an RBI single.
"I can't say I was surprised," Peavy said. "I felt the way I expected. A game, you try to play it out in your mind and want it to go smoother than it went but if I could reverse a few plays and give up [only] a run or two ... if that's the case, I could have gone longer and it would have been a real nice start."
The White Sox's offense struggled once again. Adam Dunn crushed a third-inning home run, but the White Sox were otherwise unable to get to rookie pitcher Tyler Chatwood despite multiple chances. They rallied late but it only got Peavy off the hook for a defeat.
"We talked about trying to hit spots and he was doing that," catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "He made a couple mistakes. But for the first time out there, you can't expect him to be perfect. He made a pretty good pitch to [Maicer] Izturis and made a mistake to Torii with two strikes. He made a few mistakes here and there and hung a slider to Bourjos for a triple, but other than that, he was good. You can't fault Jake. He kept us in the game, and he gave us a chance to win in the end."
Doug Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com.