Not to be outdone by newcomer Francisco Liriano’s strong performance on Tuesday, Jake Peavy dominated on the mound in the series finale as the Chicago White Sox won 3-2.
Peavy gave up only one earned run over eight innings. After letting up one run in each of the first two innings (one resulting from a Peavy error), the hurler crushed the Minnesota offense for the remainder of the game. Despite the strong showing, Peavy needed every strike he threw since the Twins’ starter Scott Diamond was equally as tough.
The White Sox managed to take the lead in the eighth off the bat of Alejandro de Aza. With Tyler Flowers on third, the hard-hitting leadoff batter hit a line drive right back at the mound. The ball bounced off of Diamond and he was unable to make a play at either home or first.
The Twins didn’t let the Sox walk away with the series, though. There were two outs with runners on the corners in the bottom of the eighth. Joe Mauer was at the plate and for a second, it looked like Robin Ventura would go with reliever Leyson Septimo to close out the inning. However, Ventura believed in Peavy’s ability to end the threat and luckily, his intuition paid off as Mauer popped up to end the inning.
The tension didn’t stop there, though. Addison Reed came in to close out the game the next inning and had some struggles of his own. After he got the first two batters out no problem, the Twins managed to get two runners on and in scoring position. With the game winning-run on second, Reed’s composure was certainly being tested. Fortunately, he buckled down and Brian Dozier flew out to end the game.
The Sox have won seven of their last nine and sit 2 1/2 games ahead of the Detroit Tigers. The importance of this team’s ability to bounce back after a tough loss or two cannot be understated. Two weeks ago when the Tigers swept the Sox, many fans were thinking, “Well it has been fun, but the Tigers are finally playing up to their potential so it is over.” Since that sweep, the Sox have regained first place and continue to play superb baseball.
The team gets a day off tomorrow before facing the Angels at home on Friday. The Angels are an excellent team, but the White Sox have repeatedly shown they can contend with any team in either league. Should be an interesting matchup as Zack Greinke takes on Philip Humber.