CHICAGO (AP) — For the Chicago White Sox, this seemed like an appropriate All-Star break send-off — another lousy performance, another loss. For good measure, throw in some extra angst over Jake Peavy’s arm, too.
Anthony Swarzak dominated over six innings, and the Minnesota Twins got back to beating the White Sox with a 6-3 victory on Sunday.
“We played very lousy,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “We finished the first half of the season the way we started. Very ugly game.”
The Twins head into the All-Star break with nine wins in 12 games after taking three of four in this series. They shook off a 4-3 loss on Saturday that snapped a nine-game winning streak against Chicago dating to last season, getting an RBI single by Drew Butera and run-scoring double by Jason Repko in the fourth before tacking on three more while knocking out Jake Peavy (4-3) in the fifth.
That was more than enough for Swarzak (2-2), who simply made it look easy while filling in for the injured Scott Baker (strained right flexor muscle). The 25-year-old right-hander allowed just four hits and one run while striking out five and walking two as Minnesota beat Chicago for the 29th time in 36 games.
Peavy ran into trouble with two outs in the fourth when he walked Rene Tosoni and Tsuyoshi Nishioka before Butera and Repko came through, making it 2-0, and he didn’t make it out of the fifth as the White Sox lost for the fifth time in six games.
His ERA is now at 5.27 after he allowed five runs and 10 hits. He walked two and struck out two, giving him 1,501 in his career. He hasn’t performed the way he anticipated after undergoing surgery to repair a torn latissimus dorsi muscle under his right shoulder last summer and plans to see his physical therapist in Alabama during the break.
“No ifs, ands about buts about it,” he said. “My body has not bounced back. It’s not hard to see. I’m throwing 85-90 mph with my fastball. Breaking balls aren’t sharp, can’t even strike anybody out with it. Certainly not characteristic, not what I’ve had in times past, even when I came back here. But I’m looking forward.”
Pitching coach Don Cooper had said before the game that Peavy would probably start the final game of the Detroit series, but that plan might be altered.
“I’m 100 percent positive I’m going to come in on the back end of this rotation to give me a week to 10 days off to try to regroup and get ready to start whatever,” Peavy said. “Every 5-6 days. I look forward to just getting a little bit of my feet under me.”
That’s something the White Sox just can’t seem to do — find their footing.
They’re third in the AL Central and alone at the top on the majors’ disappointment list.
Expectations were soaring after they signed Adam Dunn in the offseason, but he’s been a huge bust so far, with a .160 average and just nine homers to go with an American League-leading 117 strikeouts entering Sunday’s game.
“Our DH is that bad?” Guillen said before the game, laughing. “It is bad. C’mon, just be realistic.”
Alex Rios has struggled in a big way, too, but as bad as it’s been, Chicago is far from out of the division race despite a brutal start that left them 11 games below .500 at one point.
“It doesn’t really matter what other teams do,” Konerko said. “If we don’t play better, if we don’t start getting it together, I have a hard time believing that we’ll win the division. I don’t care what other teams do, this doesn’t look like a division-winning team right now. That doesn’t mean it can’t change, but that’s something that doesn’t matter.”
NOTES: Gardenhire said after the game that the Twins are activating OF Delmon Young (ankle) from the 15-day disabled list, recalling infielder Trevor Plouffe from Triple-A Rochester and sending C Rene Rivera and OF Tosoni to the minor-league club. … DH Jim Thome was out of the lineup because of a sprained left big toe after striking out in all four at-bats on Saturday. … The White Sox placed C Ramon Castro on the 15-day disabled list because of a broken right hand and index finger and recalled catcher Tyler Flowers from Triple-A Charlotte before the game. … John Danks, out with a strained right oblique muscle, threw three innings Sunday in a rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte and gave up two runs on a pair of homers. Cooper said he’ll make another rehab start before rejoining the rotation.
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