White Sox 1, Indians 0: Jake Peavy is back

It might not be Game 7 of the World Series, but Jake Peavy fulfilled Kenny Williams' vision during a pretty big game in its own right.

Peavy received one run in the first inning and made it hold up over the final eight by holding the Cleveland Indians, the American League's top-scoring team, scoreless. He delivered a three-hitter in his second start back from radical surgery, and it was every bit as impressive as it sounds.

This was the 2007 National League Cy Young winner in action. He allowed just three singles, and he didn't walk a single batter. Only one Indian reached scoring position. Shin-Soo Choo muscled a ball into short right field with one out, and then stole second. He wouldn't get any further.

Choo was the only guy to have his number -- he had two of Cleveland's three hits (but A.J. Pierzynski threw him out at second on his first steal attempt). And as luck would have it, Choo was the fourth hitter due up in the ninth inning.

He watched the game end in the on-deck circle. Peavy only got stronger as the game went on. Even though he started the ninth with 102 pitches, he looked better than he did 100 pitches earlier. He was throwing tailing, 92-94 mph fastballs on the black. He got Matt LaPorta to fly out meekly to center, struck out Michael Brantley on four pitches, then did the same to Asdrubal Cabrera for the final out. Peavy struck out eight batters on the night, and half of them came in the last two innings.

Peavy needed to be that good, because he got little support otherwise. The lefty-heavy lineup looked good against Justin Masterson in the first inning. Juan Pierre led off with a double, moved to third on Omar Vizquel's single, and then scored on Adam Dunn's sac fly. The first three left-handed hitters all did their job, and they appeared to set themselves on the right course.

 

Masterson shook it off and pitched a gem himself, going the distance with eight strikeouts of his own. Curious decision-making by the White Sox helped him out further, as they ran into two strike-him-out-throw-him-outs.

The second one hurt more. Brent Lillibridge led off the inning with a double, but took off for third with two strikes on Gordon Beckham. Beckham flailed away on a pitch for strike three, and even though Lillibridge got a great jump, Lou Marson gunned him down clearly at third.

At least Lillibridge had the courtesy to get his out back. Orlando Cabrera led off the eighth with a deep drive to left-center. Juan Pierre couldn't get it, so it looked like an easy double. At the last second, Lillibridge appeared in the camera's view and made a sliding catch on the warning track to help Peavy retire the leadoff hitter. It was smooth sailing after that.

Record: 19-25 | GB: 8 | Box score | Play-by-play

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