Jake Peavy probably didn't have the return he imagined. He lasted just 5 1/3 innings. He struggled with command of his slider, leading to three walks. When the White Sox scored for him, he gave part of the lead back.
And most uncouthly, he had words for A.J. Pierzynski while leaving the field after Ozzie Guillen went to the bullpen, and afterward in the tunnel.
Still, he came out with a victory thanks to some fantastic work by the bullpen.
Peavy left the game after giving up a homer to Carlos Pena to start the sixth, and then allowing three straight hits after recording the first out. The Cubs had narrowed a 4-1 lead to 4-3, and had runners on second and first.
First came Chris Sale, who struck out Koyie Hill, then pitched around a Kosuke Fukudome single that he deflected by getting Starlin Castro to ground out, leaving them loaded.
Sale threw a scoreless seventh, then came out to start the eighth. He gave up yet another infield single on a perfectly placed half-swing by Blake DeWitt. Mike Quade replaced DeWitt with fast-and-that's-it Tony Campana. Guillen replaced Sale with Crain.
Campana took the early edge by stealing second on a pitchout that sailed over A.J. Pierzynski's head. He then advanced to third on a weak groundout to Brent Morel, putting the tying run 90 feet away.
But Hill was at the plate, and he struck out once again. Guillen then called on Matt Thornton retire Kosuke Fukudome, which he did on fastballs that Fukudome was no match for. Sergio Santos continued that theme in the ninth inning, putting an end to the drama with a three-up-three-down inning featuring two strikeouts on nasty sliders.
And so the White Sox took two of three from the Cubs, giving them their 17th consecutive interleague series victory.
Pierzynski might have gotten some grief from Peavy, but he was a big reason why Peavy was able to improve to 3-1. With no score in the fourth inning, Pierzynski followed up a pair of singles with a two-run triple to right-center. He then flashed his wheels further by scoring on a suicide squeeze from Brent Lillibridge, who actually ended up reaching when Doug Davis was too nonchalant with settling for the out at first.
The Cubs got one run back in the fifth with a pair of two-out hits - a Fukudome double and a Starlin Castro single - but immediately gave it back, with sloppy defense giving the Sox a two-out rally of their own. Pierzynski grounded into what should've been a 4-6 fielder's choice, but DeWitt looked up before securing the ball, loading the bases.
Up came Lillibridge, and once again, Davis felt quite generous to him. He got ahead 1-2, and then threw two fastballs high and tight. The first one hit the knob of Lillibridge's bat for a foul ball - the second one clipped him, driving in the decisive run.