First-Place White Sox Shut Out Oakland 4-0
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OAKLAND, Calif. (CBS) — The White Sox now find themselves in first place, after Jake Peavy threw his best game of the season and shut out the Oakland Athletics 4-0 Monday night.
Peavy’s feat comes two days after Sox teammate Phil Humber pitched the 21st perfect game in major league history.
With the victory, the White Sox are tied with the Detroit Tigers for first place in the AL Central division, with a 10-6 record. And the Tigers lost their last game against Texas.
On Tuesday night, Peavy pitched a three-hitter, Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko hit back-to-back homers for the Sox’ fourth straight victory.
Peavy allowed only a leadoff single to Jemile Weeks in the fourth inning, a double to Yoenis Cespedes in the seventh and a single to Coco Crisp in the ninth. The 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner walked two and faced only four batters more than the minimum.
“I kind of expect it,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “It might be unfair to say stuff like that but he’s that good.”
Peavy (3-0) needed 107 pitches to handcuff the A’s, the lowest-scoring team in the American League. Since drawing a no-decision against Texas in his first start this season, Peavy has a 1.19 ERA over his last 22 2-3 innings.
“You always want to finish what you start,” said Peavy of his sixth career shutout. “I felt good tonight. Other than the fourth I didn’t have any crazy, stressful innings.”
The only time Peavy ran into trouble came after Weeks’ single in the fourth. He walked the next batter, Crisp, but got Josh Reddick to hit into a double play and then retired Cespedes on a foul pop to the catcher.
The shutout extended Peavy’s scoreless streak to 14 innings and helped the White Sox move into a first-place tie with idle Detroit in the AL Central.
“(Peavy) was establishing the zone away,” Weeks said. “Once you do that it’s hard to take care of the whole plate.”
Alex Rios added three hits for the Sox, while Brent Morel had two hits and scored a run.
Oakland starter Bartolo Colon (3-2) scattered seven hits over seven innings and fell short in his bid to become the first four-game winner in the majors.
Dunn homered on the first pitch from Colon leading off the fourth, a towering shot to left. Konerko followed with a drive to center, the 399th home run of his career.
That ended Colon’s shutout streak of 18 1-3 innings and gave Peavy more than enough room to work with.
Colon, who threw 38 consecutive strikes in his previous start against the Angels, put together another streak of 20 straight during one stretch and got the White Sox to ground into three double plays.
With no run support, though, it didn’t matter.
“It was similar to what we’ve seen, a lot of strikes,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “To give up just two to that team, you’re giving your team a chance to win.”
Oakland has been shut out a league-leading four times already this season and has scored just 52 runs through 18 games. That’s the second-fewest in the majors behind Pittsburgh, which has 30 runs in 15 games.
The Sox added a pair of insurance runs in the ninth on RBI singles by Gordon Beckham and A.J. Pierzynski.
The loss spoiled the A’s debut of third baseman Luke Hughes.
Hughes, claimed off waivers from Minnesota a day earlier, arrived in Oakland about two hours before the first pitch and was immediately put into the starting lineup. He got off to a shaky start with his new team, committing a pair of throwing errors.
(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)