White Sox snap Blue Jays' win streak at 6
No matter how ugly that monthlong beating was, Jake Peavy never doubted he would get out of it.
Now, he's back on solid footing and that's bad news for the rest of the league.
Peavy pitched eight innings for his second straight victory, Paul Konerko hit his major league-leading 13th homer and the Chicago White Sox beat Toronto 7-3 Saturday night to snap the Blue Jays' six-game win streak.
Konerko drove a two-run shot off Brett Cecil (2-2) in the first inning after missing two games with a sore neck, and the White Sox drew three bases-loaded walks, including two in a four-run seventh that broke open a 3-1 game.
That was enough for Peavy (2-2), who retired the first 16 batters before John Buck hit his eighth homer. He also allowed a leadoff shot in the eighth to Alex Gonzalez, whose three-run homer in the 12th on Friday gave Toronto a 7-4 win.
Otherwise, Peavy delivered his second dominant performance in a row after struggling through the first month.
``I knew what I'd done,'' Peavy said. ``Maybe if I'd been younger in my career, but I felt healthy. It was just a matter of time for me to figure it out and get back to who I need to be.''
Mixing a mid-90s fastball with sharp offspeed pitches, he allowed two runs and three hits with eight strikeouts without a walk after throwing seven scoreless innings in his previous outing against Kansas City.
He's looking more like a former Cy Young Award winner than a guy who went 0-2 with a 7.85 ERA over five starts in April.
``I know if he's healthy his stuff is going to be there,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said. ``It's just a matter of time. ... If this guy's healthy, he'll be fine.''
Cecil went from flirting with a perfect game to flirting with an early exit.
He felt fortunate to hold them to three runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings, although the White Sox did take control in the first two innings.
After retiring the first 19 batters against Cleveland on Monday, Cecil quickly fell behind on Saturday. Gordon Beckham walked with one out in the first and with two down, Konerko drove a 3-2 pitch to the seats beyond the left-field bullpen to make it 2-0.
The White Sox added to their lead in the second when back-to-back singles by Alexei Ramirez and Juan Pierre loaded the bases with two outs for Beckham, who came in on a 1-for-20 slide. He managed to draw a walk that made it 3-0.
``Every changeup I threw it was a check swing or spun out,'' Cecil said. ``It wasn't in the zone long enough for them to offer at it. It's better than being up. It could have been a lot worse than three runs.''
Peavy was sailing along until Buck drove a slider to the left-field bullpen with one out in the sixth, giving him three homers in the past two games and four this season against Chicago.
Any suspense ended in the seventh, though.
Andruw Jones drove an RBI double off the center-field wall with two out and Alex Rios doubled in another run against Josh Roenicke. Casey Janssen then walked A.J. Pierzynski, Carlos Quentin and Mark Teahen to force in two more runs, making it 7-1.
Peavy, meanwhile, made it look easy.
He is emerging from what might have been the worst stretch of his career after lowering his arm angle slightly, going back to the motion he used before last season's trade from San Diego. Peavy pitched well for Chicago when he returned from ankle injury, going 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA after being activated in September, but even so, he felt that had more to do with his know-how than his pitches.
There were some positive signs in a loss at Texas on April 28, when he allowed six runs but retired 16 of 18 after a rough start. Then he allowed four hits while striking out a season-high nine against the Royals on Monday and was nearly as good against the Blue Jays.
``You see my stuff is better,'' he said. ``Guys are swinging and missing.''
NOTES: The temperature was a crisp 46 degrees. ... White Sox reliever Sergio Santos allowed a run in the ninth after 12 scoreless outings to start his career. ... Toronto DH Adam Lind was back in the starting lineup after being held out the previous day, although he wound up entering Friday's game in the ninth inning.