MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Start by quality start, Jake Peavy is putting the shoulder problems that once threatened to derail his career further and further behind him.
Adam Dunn and Dayan Viciedo hit consecutive homers to back another strong start from Peavy and lead the Chicago White Sox to a 4-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night.
Peavy (5-1) gave up two runs and five hits with six strikeouts in seven innings and Tyler Flowers’ single in the eighth scored the go-ahead run for the White Sox. Addison Reed picked up his 12th save.
“I think he’s got a little more velocity,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He’s further removed from surgery. He’s just stronger. He has more belief as far as in his mind he doesn’t have any hesitation of letting it go. I think last year he might have held back a little bit. But this year he’s pitching free.”
Peavy was one of the best pitchers in the game from 2004-08, winning a Cy Young Award and pitching in two All-Star games for the San Diego Padres in that span.
But he had right shoulder surgery in 2010, and it’s been a long, slow climb back. Now Peavy is 4-0 with a 2.10 ERA in his past five starts and looking more and more like the ace he was in San Diego.
“You can’t say enough about the way that guy goes out there and competes and demands perfection out of himself,” said Flowers, who went 2 for 4 with a double. “Our other pitchers are trying to do what he does.”
Kevin Correia (4-3) gave up four runs and nine hits with two strikeouts in seven innings and Joe Mauer extended his hitting streak to 13 games for the Twins. Justin Morneau added a single and a double to increase his hitting streak to 10 games.
Dunn, who entered the game hitting a league-worst .133, and Viciedo got the Sox off to a roaring start with nearly 1,000 feet of home runs in the second inning.
One night after watching Aaron Hicks rob a home run in center field, Dunn put a little extra on a pitch that soared an estimated 413 feet into the bullpen.
Viciedo followed three pitches later with a blast that landed in the first row of the third deck in left field, some 424 feet from home plate for a 2-0 lead, but the fun was just beginning.
Proponents of expanded replay picked up some more fodder in this game and Peavy may be at the front of the line now.
The Twins caught their first break in the fifth when home plate umpire Jordan Baker missed Flowers’ initial tag of Morneau at home plate. When Morneau saw that no call was made initially, he sneaked his arm into home plate and was ruled safe. Peavy and Ventura argued vehemently to no avail, and the Twins were on the board.
“He said he didn’t see it,” Peavy said. “I saw it pretty clearly from farther away both times. Just, you know, I understand they are going to miss some. But it cost runs, cost the tying run coming to the plate there.”
First base umpire Dan Bellino missed another call in the seventh when Dunn beat Brian Dozier’s throw to first by a full step but was ruled out anyway. Ventura again came out to argue briefly before heading back to the dugout.
Trevor Plouffe’s single in the seventh scored Josh Willingham to tie the game 2-2, and suddenly Baker’s call at home loomed very large.
“I think in the end to do all that stuff, they just want to get it right,” Ventura said. “I don’t know if the answer is to go more (replays), but in the end you just want it to be right.”
But Peavy posted his fifth straight quality start — he is 4-0 with a 2.10 ERA during the streak — and Flowers and Alexei Ramirez delivered RBI singles in the eighth inning to put Chicago back on top.
The Sox were even able to overcome an error charged to Dunn at first base when a throw from Ramirez broke the webbing of his glove and popped out.
“We’re getting creative; gloves breaking. So, you just scratch your head,” said Ventura, who conducted a 45-minute defensive workout before the game after seeing eight errors in the past five games. “But it’s a focal point. It’s important and it’s going to stay important. I don’t know if we’re going to come out here at 8:30 tomorrow, but I was thinking about it.”
NOTES: The White Sox rested struggling slugger Paul Konerko for a second consecutive day. … Dunn and Viciedo gave the Sox their first back-to-back homers of the season. … Twins GM Terry Ryan said RHP Cole De Vries, who has been on the disabled list all season, was scheduled to make a rehab start on Wednesday and would be evaluated after that. … In the “great timing” department: After a month and a half of frigid temps, the Twins gave out a fleece blanket on Tuesday night. The temperature at first pitch was 92 degrees.
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