Peavy concerned about tired arm after loss
Righty hurt by two innings as White Sox held in check
CLEVELAND -- Jake Peavy survived the first inning, but the Indians caught up to him soon enough.
Peavy's up-and-down season took another downturn Tuesday, and the Tribe took advantage of Peavy's off-night, sending the White Sox to a 7-3 defeat at Progressive Field.
Peavy hasn't worried much about his struggles in the first inning this season, but after the game, he showed concern about his throwing arm.
"You're going to have starts where you're not sharp," Peavy said. "My arm just didn't feel alive."
Peavy is set to take the hill Sunday against the Rays, but said he has work to do before his next start.
"I've won many games going out there feeling like that," he said. "I knew what to do, but I just didn't do it. I'm going to get some treatment, see if I can get some more life in the arm [before Sunday]."
Peavy entered Tuesday with an 11.00 ERA in the first inning, and it looked like he was headed for trouble early when Shin-Soo Choo and Travis Hafner strung together a pair of hits.
Peavy forced a grounder and a flyout to escape the first, but the worst was yet to come.
Peavy's struggles packaged neatly into two innings. Giving up three runs in the third and again in the sixth, Peavy retired the side in the innings between.
"I didn't have good stuff," he said. "I just got guys out."
Indians shortstop Jason Donald hit his first career home run to lead off the third, and two batters later, Choo followed with a solo shot. Cleveland got one more that inning against Peavy (3-4) when Russell Branyan's RBI single scored Hafner from second.
The Indians plated three more in the sixth, as Peavy allowed two hits and a walk to the first three batters he faced. Jhonny Peralta doubled home Austin Kearns, and Peralta and Branyan came around on back-to-back sacrifice flies.
"Tonight, I just didn't have very good stuff at all," Peavy said. "Nothing was sharp. Just when you're not sharp, you better be good with location. I made some bad pitches early."
Cleveland tagged Peavy for six runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out five.
"I gave it all I got, but it just wasn't very pretty," Peavy said.
The way Mitch Talbot (6-3) was dealing, the Indians had more than enough offense.
Talbot locked down the White Sox for most of the night, facing just one batter over the minimum through six innings. Talbot began to tire in the seventh, but with a six-run lead, Chicago's spurt was too little, too late. Through six innings, Talbot allowed two hits, but got defensive help with an inning-ending double play in the fourth.
In the seventh, four of the first five White Sox hitters Talbot faced doubled. Andruw Jones and Mark Kotsay had back-to-back RBI knocks in the seventh.
Choo saved a run, initiating a three-part putout that nailed Kotsay as he tried to stretch his double into a triple. Carlos Quentin followed with Chicago's fourth double of the seventh, but the bases were empty.
Talbot threw an efficient 77 pitches over seven innings of work. He walked none and fanned four, giving up two runs on six hits.
"That's what's so great about the game of baseball," Indians manager Manny Acta said after the game. "Any game, a guy like Mitch can beat a guy like Peavy."
Facing Chris Perez in the eighth, Alexei Ramirez gave the White Sox one more RBI double, scoring Juan Pierre from first base.
Kotsay tried to start off a comeback facing Kerry Wood, but Wood forced Quentin into a game-ending double play.
Kotsay went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI, and Ramirez, who did not start Monday, was 2-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and an RBI.
The loss set up a rubber match in Wednesday's finale. With the Sox emphasizing series wins as they try to climb back into the American League Central race, it will be a key game, especially with a four-game slate against the Rays looming.
"Tomorrow's a big game for us; no, huge," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Winning here tomorrow, I mean, we win two series in a row. Hopefully we can do that here, see how we play out after that."
Stephen Ellsesser is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.