Despite a losing record, Jake Peavy has plenty to build on from last season.
Just not his performances against the Kansas City Royals .
The veteran right-hander looks to deliver another strong outing by a Chicago White Sox pitcher and reverse his fortune against the visiting Royals on Wednesday.
Peavy went 11-12 in 2012 but finished ninth in the AL with a 3.37 ERA, and maybe more importantly, he made 32 starts and pitched 219 innings. He had not made more than 18 starts in any of the previous five years because of injuries. Peavy last pitched more than 200 innings in 2007, when he won the Cy Young Award for San Diego.
His record could have been better if not for a four-start stretch in June when his teammates scored a combined two runs. He lost each game despite a 2.70 ERA.
"I do have some mileage, and we don't know what the future holds, but I'm going to do everything I can do to stay healthy," Peavy, who turns 32 next month, told the White Sox's official website. "I do feel my stuff's a little bit better than it has been at any point in time here. And I hope to fall right in behind Chris (Sale) and be a top-of-the-rotation guy."
He could have a hard time matching the opening-day performance by Sale, who struck out seven in 7 2-3 innings of a 1-0 win over Kansas City on Monday.
In his first five career starts versus the Royals, Peavy went 4-1 with a 3.77 ERA. Since then, he's 0-6 with a 5.56 ERA in seven. His 5.68 ERA in three games against them last year was his worst versus any opponent he faced more than once, and Kansas City hit .346 in those matchups.
"There's not a whole lot of name recognition over there, but they got guys who can really, really play and they're going to be right in the middle of things," Peavy said.
Kansas City's Billy Butler , Alcides Escobar , Jeff Francoeur and Alex Gordon are batting a combined .389 with five homers against Peavy. Escobar and Francoeur each had two hits in the opener while Gordon and Butler combined to go 1 for 6.
Catcher Tyler Flowers homered for the White Sox, who look to start 2-0 for the second time in three seasons. Flowers, who the team felt was finally ready to replace popular veteran A.J. Pierzynski, has hit three of his 13 career home runs against the Royals.
"If every day could be like (opening day), it'll be fine," Flowers said. "I really don't think about it much. Hopefully, in a couple weeks or a couple months, I'll quit getting asked all these questions about A.J."
Chicago gets it first look at Ervin Santana in a Kansas City uniform Wednesday.
The right-hander went 96-80 with a 4.33 ERA in 236 games over eight seasons with the Los Angeles Angels . However, he went 9-13 with a 5.16 ERA in 2012 and was traded to Kansas City.
"Everything was good. I just (had) bad luck," Santana said of his struggles last season. "I was pitching good, and I didn't have the opportunity to win a lot of games."
Santana, who went 1-1 with a 4.70 ERA in six spring training starts, is 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA in his last three at U.S. Cellular Field.
Chicago's Alexei Ramirez is batting .364 versus Santana, but Paul Konerko is 7 for 37 (.189), including the postseason, and Adam Dunn 1 for 10. Ramirez had two hits Monday, but Konerko and Dunn were each 0 for 4.
|Alejandro De Aza||10||.400||4||1||2||0||4||.400||1.200||.800|
|Kansas City Royals|
|March 22, 2013||Danny Duffy||15-Day DL||Recovery from left elbow surgery|
|February 12, 2013||Felipe Paulino||60-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
|Chicago White Sox|
|March 22, 2013||Leyson Septimo||15-Day DL||Left shoulder strain|
|March 22, 2013||John Danks||15-Day DL||Recovery from left shoulder surgery|
CHICAGO (AP) -- Given all their trouble against the Royals, it's fair to say the White Sox are enjoying this.
Adam Dunn homered and Chicago went deep four times to back a solid outing by Jake Peavy in a 5-2 victory over Kansas City on Wednesday.
Tyler Flowers , Dayan Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez also connected, and the White Sox made it two straight wins to start the season after dropping 12 of 18 to the Royals a year ago.
"I love their team," Peavy said. "I love their makeup. I love their manager. They have a great team. They have a great bunch of guys, and they play hard. That team is scrappy. They don't strike out much. ... It's nice to come out (against) a team that's had our number as a team and play well."
The Royals, full of optimism after posting the majors' best record in spring training, will try to avoid a season-opening sweep Thursday.
"They're a good team," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. "I don't think they're going to lay down."
The White Sox have no intention of that, either. They insist they can make another run in the AL Central after finishing second to Detroit, even though they made no splashy additions while other teams in the division loaded up.
They're off to a good start.
Peavy (1-0) allowed one earned run and four hits in six innings, striking out six and walking none. Not bad, considering he said he didn't have his best stuff.
Even so, he managed to keep the Royals off balance on a chilly day when the game-time temperature was 43. More important, he looked about as good as he did last year, when he rebounded from all those injuries and made the All-Star team.
"I don't wake up every day worrying about my body holding together," Peavy said. "But at the same time, I do a lot of preventive work to try to hold everything intact the way it is now and stay as strong as I did last year."
Dunn had two hits and scored twice. He led off the second with his 407th home run - tying Duke Snider for 48th place on the career list - and Flowers opened the third with his second shot.
Viciedo made up for his gaffes in left field with a big swing in the fourth, hitting a two-run drive that made it 4-1. The Royals scored a run in the sixth and loaded the bases against the Chicago bullpen in the seventh, only to come away empty-handed. Ramirez got the lead back up to 5-2 with a drive leading off the bottom half off Luke Hochevar , and the White Sox hung on from there.
Peavy did his part, outpitching Ervin Santana (0-1) after Chris Sale shut down the Royals in a 1-0 victory Monday in the opener.
The three-time All-Star re-signed with Chicago after a rebound season last year and started this one on a strong note. Five relievers combined to shut down the Royals, with Addison Reed working the ninth for his second save.
Santana (0-1), a mainstay in the Angels' rotation for eight seasons, also went six innings and gave up four runs and five hits. He struck out eight and walked one in his first start with the Royals.
"Everything was good," Santana said. "My off-speed was very good. My sinker was good. Fastball was good."
Royals hitters did him no favors, going 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position, and the long ball did him in.
Dunn put the White Sox ahead 1-0 with a 431-foot line drive to the seats in right-center, but the White Sox quickly gave it back.
Ramirez, the shortstop, was charged with an error even though Viciedo actually dropped Chris Getz 's pop fly in a collision with one out. Then with two out, Viciedo misplayed Alcides Escobar 's single, allowing Getz to score from first.
Flowers, who homered Monday, connected again leading off the third, and Viciedo gave them a cushion with his two-run drive in the fourth, the ball tipping a leaping Alex Gordon 's glove in left.
"I wish I could have done that over again," Gordon said. "I was right there in position."
The Royals got a run off Peavy in the sixth when Gordon doubled past a diving Viciedo and scored from third on a groundout by Billy Butler , but they couldn't come through after they loaded the bases against the White Sox bullpen in the seventh.
Donnie Veal relieved Jesse Crain with two on and one out and walked pinch hitter Miguel Tejada before retiring Gordon on a fly to shallow left. Matt Lindstrom came in and got Escobar to fly to right, ending the threat.
NOTES: Paul Konerko tied Frank Thomas for third on the White Sox hits list with 2,136 when he doubled in the sixth. ... The Royals are 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position and have left 14 on base through two games.