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.