White Sox-Rangers Preview

In his second start following major surgery on his pitching
shoulder, Chicago’s Jake Peavy returned his Cy Young Award-winning
form of four years ago.

Duplicating that performance could be tough.

In the middle contest of the White Sox’s three-game set in
Texas, Peavy will be facing a reloaded Rangers lineup featuring AL
MVP Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz, who both homered in their first
game off the disabled list in the series opener.

Peavy’s career appeared to be in jeopardy last July, when he
left a start against the Los Angeles Angels with a detached muscle
in his right shoulder. He underwent a groundbreaking procedure and
returned to the White Sox (22-27) in just 10 months.

His first start since the injury was rather ordinary – Peavy
(1-0, 2.40 ERA) allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings of
an extra-inning win over the Angels on May 11 – but his next outing
was brilliant.

The three-time All-Star and 2007 NL Cy Young winner threw a
three-hitter in Wednesday’s 1-0 victory over major league-leading
Cleveland. The right-hander struck out eight, allowed one runner
past first base and did not walk a batter. He hasn’t issued a walk
in 15 innings.

“I don’t know what to expect coming off this surgery and I don’t
know how good I can be and if I can get back, but that’s a lot of
what I used to do (Wednesday), but I’m just going to grind it
out,” Peavy said. “I can tell you this, every fifth day I take the
ball, or six-seven (days) with this rotation, I expect to win and
that’s the bottom line.”

While Peavy expects to win, he could have his work cut out for
him.

Hamilton hit a solo shot in his first at-bat and Cruz hit a
two-run homer for Texas (25-23) in Monday’s 4-0 win over the White
Sox. Hamilton had been out since April 12 with a broken bone in his
upper right arm. Cruz had been sidelined since May 3 because of a
strained right quadriceps.

“An exciting moment for us to be back,” Cruz said.

The AL West-leading Rangers had scored a combined five runs in
their previous four games.

“You see as soon as they are at the plate they can make a big
difference,” winning pitcher Alexi Ogando said through a
translator.

It was the first homer of the season for Hamilton, who also
doubled in the eighth inning and scored Texas’ final run. The
three-time All-Star is batting .415 with four homers, four doubles
and nine RBIs in 10 games against the White Sox since the start of
last season.

Hamilton is 3 for 7 with a homer lifetime against Peavy, while
Cruz has never faced him.

In his only career appearance against Texas on April 28, 2010,
Peavy allowed six runs, six hits and five walks in 6 1-3 innings of
a 6-5 loss.

The Rangers counter with Derek Holland (3-1, 4.37), who hasn’t
won since beating Kansas City on April 22, a span of five
starts.

Holland has pitched well enough to win in each of his last two
outings. After allowing two runs in six innings of Texas’ 3-2 loss
to the Angels on May 14, the left-hander yielded one run over eight
innings in Thursday’s 2-1, 10-inning loss to the Royals.

This will be Holland’s first career start against the White Sox.
He made two relief appearances against them in 2009.

Chicago managed just five hits in the opener against Ogando, who
threw his first career complete game.

The White Sox, who had plated 17 runs while winning their
previous two games, lost for the second time in their last six
contests.