ARLINGTON, Texas - Jake Peavy's start was limited to three innings on Tuesday night, thanks to severe weather that delayed the White Sox game against the Texas Rangers for two hours, 58 minutes.
The Sox won 8-6 behind three home runs by Carlos Quentin. Adam Dunn hit his fifth homer, a tiebreaking shot, to lead off the sixth inning against Brett Tomko.
Dunn's homer was estimated at 404 feet. It landed in the top deck and gave the Sox a 5-4 lead. Brent Morel added an RBI single to make it 6-4. Mitch Moreland's RBI single off the wall against Chris Sale in the sixth cut the Sox lead to 6-5.
Fans were asked to evacuate the main concourse during the delay and to take cover in the service areas at field level. Earlier, fans in the upper deck were asked to move to the lower level because of tornadoes in the area, although none appeared to be headed toward the ballpark.
Somehow, Quentin muscled out two home runs to provide the Sox' offense. Quentin's first-inning shot against left-hander Derek Holland was wind-proof, a low liner to left. But his second homer, an opposite-field three-run blast into a strong wind in the third inning, was remarkable. Quentin launched it an estimated 405 feet, and not too far from the foul pole, beneath the flags blowing in stiff from right field toward home plate.
Quentin and struggling Dunn (fifth) had switched places in the lineup, and that move by manager Ozzie Guillen proved to be a good one. Quentin had his second multi-homer game, the 12th of his career and his 10th and 11th homers of the season passed Paul Konerko for the team lead.
Peavy was dominant in his last start on Wednesday, a masterful three-hit shutout of the Cleveland Indians at U.S. Cellular Field. The Indians have been pounding the ball this season, and the Sox won that one 1-0. Tonight, he faced a Rangers lineup that welcomed back reigning MVP Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz, who had been on the disabled list.
Hamilton had an RBI single in the first and Cruz doubled in the second. Michael Young's sacrifice fly in the third pushed in the Rangers' second run.
"This is as good a lineup as you're going to face,'' Peavy said. "In this park, especially. Obviously, we saw what they did last year and all the talent they've accumulated over here. And getting Hamilton and Cruz back will bring them energy there, so we got our work cut out for us.''
Peavy, 4-1 with a 1.77 ERA in his previous seven starts, was looking to become the second pitcher in Sox history to not walk a batter in his first three starts of the season (John Whitehead did it in 1939), but that endeavor was pitchforked when Peavy walked the first batter he faced. Ian Kinsler advanced to second on Elvis Andrus' tap in front of the plate and scored on Hamilton's single to center.
"I'm not sure if it's the same Jake Peavy in San Diego, but he was pretty dang good the other night.,'' Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said. "Now the goal is to keep him healthy and strong all year.
"He's come back sooner rather than later after this first-time surgery. It's really kind of freaky what he's doing but the way he did it [against the Indians] brings an energy, confidence and aggressiveness that can be contagious with the team.''
All eyes will be on Peavy to see how he progresses and whether he can endure repeated starts. One reason the Sox went to a six-man rotation was to give Peavy an extra day of rest.
"That extra day is so big,'' Peavy said. [Monday would have been] my day and I would have no problems pitching on [that] day. That extra day is big in recovery. Another day to feel better than you already do."
Peavy said he talked to Roy Oswalt and Roy Halladay of the Phillies about the Rangers, both of whom faced the Rangers over the weekend.
"We've done our homework and are excited to go out,'' Peavy said. "It's another challenge, as Cleveland was.
"The big leagues are a challenge, and these next two being here and in Boston for me, it's as good as you're going to get. But we got to go out and do what we do to give ourselves a chance to win. It's fun. When you face the best, it's fun and extra motivation to do well. I'm excited for [tonight]."