(AP) — 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.