Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Peavy likely to make opening-day roster

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PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Jake Peavy shook off lingering issues from the stomach flu and pitched 5 2/3 innings on Saturday, allowing three runs on seven hits in the White Sox' 8-3 Cactus League loss to the Oakland A's.

His latest performance was enough to convince manager Ozzie Guillen that he'll make the opening-day roster as the team's fifth starter.

"The way he performed, yes. I don't see why not,'' Guillen said. "Obviously we have [two starts left]. We'll see how he feels. Right now he has made progress to be on the ballclub. If everything goes the way it has gone so far I'm having him on the ballclub.''

Peavy got behind in the count and gave up a two-run homer to Ryan Sweeney in the third inning, an opposite field shot to left-center. Kevin Kouzmanoff's broken-bat single to center in the fourth scored Oakland's third run.

Peavy had been ill for two days before returning to the team on Friday. Guillen said Friday that he preferred to have Peavy cautiously miss his turn but the right-hander, who is bouncing back from surgery to re-attach a torn lat, was determined to stay on schedule.

"I get up today and read where Ozzie didn't want me to pitch," Peavy said. "Some wanted me to and some didn't. I was one of those who wanted to."

Peavy surprised pressbox observers by going to the mound for the sixth inning, knowing the illness had sapped his strength, but Peavy finished strong, getting a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth and striking out Hideki Matsui swinging and Conor Jackson looking with breaking pitches in the sixth. When Peavy's pitch total reached 83 after Jackson's strikeout, Guillen replaced him with Sergio Santos.

Peavy struck out three and did not walk a batter.

"The farther I went along the better my arm felt," Peavy said. "I think my velocity actually got better."

Peavy had been around 90-92 mph with his velocity in previous outings but appeared to be slightly below that Saturday.

"I've certainly had better days but we got through it,'' Peavy said. "Today was about what I expected.
"All in all I felt good."

Peavy said his shoulder felt "achy" but stressed that it was normal soreness, and that it felt better as he went along.

"I hope I bounce back and start Thursday night, push a hundred pitches almost like a start, feel good about it and have a little more to start the season.
"My shoulder was a little achy but when you don't use something, your whole body feels a little achy. I want to pitch. I want to be ready for that fifth start in Kansas City (April 6)."

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This page contains a single entry by Daryl Van Schouwen published on March 19, 2011 4:24 PM.

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