Preview: Marlins Versus White Sox, Saturday
MIAMI (AP) — Jake Peavy was off his game last time out.
Facing the majors’ worst hitting team could help the former Cy Young winner deliver a better performance this time.
Peavy and the Chicago White Sox go for an eighth victory in 11 games Saturday night when their series against the Miami Marlins continues.
After yielding eight walks in 45 2-3 innings over his first seven starts, Peavy (5-2, 3.31 ERA) surrendered five free passes over six innings in Sunday’s 6-2 road loss to the Los Angeles Angels, including two with the bases loaded.
“I felt really good today, and that’s the most frustrating part for me,” he said. “I went out there with a good game plan and felt like we could execute, but I just didn’t quite execute well enough. My slider was the best it’s been all year, so I’ve got some positives to take out of it. It’s just hard to be positive right now.”
Peavy might feel better about facing a Marlins team that’s last in the majors in batting (.221) and runs per game (2.7) following Friday’s 4-3, 11-inning defeat.
Miami (13-35), which has lost 13 of 16, has totaled five runs in the last four starts of Saturday’s pitcher Ricky Nolasco (3-5, 3.96).
The veteran right-hander, though, helped the Marlins snap a season-worst seven-game losing streak Sunday, throwing eight-plus innings of one-run ball in Sunday’s 2-1 home win over Arizona. Nolasco’s 11 strikeouts were his most in two years.
“Ricky’s been solid all year and I really wanted him to finish that game,” manager Mike Redmond said. “He looked good and was in complete control.”
That was not the case in Nolasco’s only start against the White Sox, an 8-0 road loss May 21, 2010, when he allowed all the runs and 10 hits in 5 1-3 innings.
Right fielder Alex Rios, 2 for 6 with a double off Nolasco, will try to extend his career-best hitting streak to 19, which would tie the longest in the majors this season. San Francisco’s Marco Scutaro had a 19-game streak snapped Wednesday.
Chicago (22-24) is batting .278 with 4.7 runs per game during its 7-3 run. The team is hitting .240 and averaging 3.7 runs this season.
“It just feels like our offense is starting to do a little bit more and we’re still getting good pitching,” said infielder Jeff Keppinger, who had two singles Friday, including the game-winner.
While Keppinger has hit safely in six straight and eight of nine, Paul Konerko is also finding his stroke, equaling a season high with three hits Friday to improve to 5 for 9 in the last two contests.
Adam Dunn, 6 for 22 with a homer, triple and double against Nolasco, has struck out twice in each of the last three games and is hitless in 12 at-bats during that stretch.
Peavy will face the Marlins for the first time since 2008 while with San Diego. The right-hander has not enjoyed much success against Placido Polanco, who is 9 for 17 in that matchup.
Peavy will get his first look at rookie Marcell Ozuna, who is riding a nine-game hitting streak – the Marlins’ longest of 2013.
These teams have split 10 all-time matchups, with the White Sox leading 4-3 in Chicago.
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