CHICAGO | After Jake Peavy beat the Tigers and Justin Verlander Thursday, he left his teammates wanting more as a White Sox.
“I don’t want him to go,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “I hope he’s here through next year.”
So does Peavy, who earned a huge ovation from the 30,348 at U.S. Cellular Field when Ventura pulled him in the eighth. But he knows several among the gaggle of scouts in attendance will give a good report on his outing back to their front offices. Peavy is prepared if a trade goes down the next few days.
“I certainly have things in order if I was to be traded,” he said when asked if he has some bags already packed.
“When you get traded, you don’t get two, three days to get there. You’ve got to get up and go. We won’t be caught off-guard, for sure.”
Peavy was moved when he departed to the big ovation.
“It was very humbling, it was emotional for me,” he said. “If it was the last time I pitched here at U.S. Cellular with this uniform on, it was a nice way to go out. It meant the absolute world to me.”
Knowing his time here could be short, Peavy persuaded the Sox to wear their 1983 throwback uniforms, only used on home Sundays. He had not yet pitched in the multi-colored uniforms.
Peavy prevented a four-game Tigers sweep by allowing four runs and four hits in seven-plus innings. He had good control with 74 strikes among his 118 pitches.
The Atlanta Braves, represented by former Sox manager Jim Fregosi, watched Peavy with seemingly the need for a veteran starter after injuries to Tim Hudson and Paul Maholm. However, the Braves’ first impulse apparently is to replace the starters from their own farm system.
Schererville’s Bill Bryk, special assistant to Arizona Diamondbacks’ general manager Kevin Towers, has been at the Sox-Tigers series.
Also monitoring Peavy were two scouts from the Rangers, along with the Orioles, the Yankees and Nationals, among others. Having just traded for the Cubs’ Matt Garza, the Rangers likely were tracking Sox right fielder Alex Rios, given their need for another bat.
Peavy gave up three Tigers homers. Top Sox killer Torii Hunter belted his 30th career homer against his favorite foes with a man on in the fourth. Victor Martinez slugged his 20th lifetime homer against the Sox in the seventh. Catcher Brayan Pena finally knocked out Pevy with his leadoff homer in the eighth.
Meanwhile, the Sox had the moral victory of beating Verlander two starts in a row for only the first time since 2008, when they crafted a three-game winning streak against the right-hander. The Sox had been 2-12 over the last 14 games against Verlander.
Not the nearly-unhittable pitcher he was the past three years, Verlander gave up 11 hits, including a Tyler Flowers homer, and seven runs over six innings.