Published November 20, 2014
If this was Jake Peavy's last start of the season, he'll definitely be going out on a high note.
Peavy struck out a season-high nine and Alex Rios homered to help the Chicago White Sox to a 3-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night.
Peavy (7-7) allowed four hits and walked two in 6 1-3 innings against a Twins team that had three players who were called up from Double-A in the last two days.
After the game, Peavy was asked about being shut down for the rest of the season. The 30-year-old right-hander has been plagued by shoulder problems for the last two years, and he said he was "worn down and tired" as the season enters its final month.
"I can go either way," Peavy said. "Whatever they see fit. Whatever they want me to do."
Alejandro De Aza had two hits, including a triple, and an RBI, and Sergio Santos picked up his 29th save for the White Sox, who have won three in a row and eight of 12.
Liam Hendriks (0-1) allowed three runs and four hits over seven innings in his major league debut. Chris Parmelee had two hits in his first game as a pro, but the Twins lost for the 14th time in 17 games.
Paul Konerko, who hasn't hit a homer in his last 60 at-bats, got a much-needed day off, but the White Sox still managed to scratch together enough offense for Peavy. Brent Morel added an RBI single as the Sox beat the Twins for the eighth time in the last nine games in the series.
"Every time he's on the mound, we feel great stuff is going to happen," manager Ozzie Guillen said of Peavy. "That's the kind of pitcher he is. He's been up and down a few times, but always in the back of our minds we know he's one year off of major surgery. We just hope when he's back on the mound, he can do the same stuff."
The White Sox are in the middle of a stretch of 28 straight games against the AL Central, but they only have three games left against division-leading Detroit. The Tigers beat the Indians 10-1 on Tuesday night, keeping the White Sox eight games back.
"We're still in the pennant race," Guillen said before the game. "I know it's going to be hard. ... One thing about it, we're not going to quit."
There was a time when the Twins owned the White Sox, going 29-7 against them in a stretch that included six straight victories to open 2011. But the wheels have come off for a Twins team that expected to contend for a third straight division title.
Calling up Hendriks, Parmelee and center fielder Joe Benson from Double-A New Britain gave the Twins three players in the starting lineup making their major league debuts for the first time in franchise history, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau.
Benson misplayed a fly ball from De Aza in the fifth inning, diving for it and letting it get past him for a triple. Morel followed with a single to give the White Sox a 3-0 lead.
That was plenty for Peavy, who stranded runners on third base in the second and fourth innings but never really ran into trouble all night long.
"There's no doubt I look forward to a nice winter and nice comeback season next year, but at the same time I'm grinding through this one," Peavy said. "It has been a grind. Some good, some not so good. I'm just going to see what they want to do. I'm on board with whatever."
Joe Mauer went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts, hearing plenty of boos when Matt Thornton got him swinging in the eighth.
The Twins were shut out for the 12th time this season, tied a season high with 14 strikeouts and have managed just two runs in their last four games. They trail the Tigers by 22 games in the Central and were officially eliminated from the playoff race on Tuesday night.
"You know it was going to be a tough night with Peavy out there. ... Tonight he just ate us up with the breaking ball and the fastball. He had a really good ballgame against us," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
NOTES: The Twins said Justin Morneau will go through early batting practice on Wednesday to test his concussion symptoms. Even though he is not on the DL, he will have to get approval from Major League Baseball before being cleared to return to the field. When he does, Morneau will only DH and not play 1B. ... The last team to debut at least three players in the starting lineup on the same day was the San Diego Padres, when they had four in 1986. ... The last time three Twins made their big league debuts in the same game was April 7, 1999, against Toronto, when Joe Mays, Dan Perkins and Mike Lincoln all came out of the bullpen. ... Guillen said he considered giving Konerko one of the games of Monday's doubleheader off, but wanted to get him a full day's rest. Konerko will be back in the lineup on Wednesday night. ... White Sox OF Juan Pierre went 0 for 4 and remains two hits shy of 2,000 for his career. ... RHP Carl Pavano (7-11, 4.60) takes the mound in the series finale on Wednesday night against White Sox LHP John Danks (6-10, 4.01). Danks is just 2-7 on the road this season, the fourth-lowest winning percentage in the majors. But he's 6-2 with a 2.85 ERA over his last 12 starts after starting the season 0-8 with a 5.25 ERA. Pavano is 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA in three starts against the Sox this year. He's given up an AL-high 221 hits this season and has allowed nine or more in eight of his last nine starts.