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03/10/12 11:43 PM ET

Peavy puts early focus on fastball command

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The side bullpen session Jake Peavy threw Friday morning was much like his Cactus League debut on Wednesday against the Brewers: pain-free and featuring pretty much all fastballs.

With five Cactus League starts remaining, Peavy wants to spend his early time focusing on location of his primary pitch.

"Fastball command is everything," Peavy said. "When you can throw your fastball where you know you are mechanically right, then everything for me feeds off that.

"I feel like for the first time in a long time, I feel like I got a chance. I'm not behind the eight ball starting. It's a great feeling. I feel blessed. I feel outstanding, I really do.

"I'm excited to throw more of the full arsenal on Monday and stretch it out a little bit. Maybe go a little bit harder than I went the other day."

Look for Peavy's repertoire to include more breaking balls during his home start against the A's. But even that approach will have a Spring Training feel to it.

Peavy might throw it behind in the count, where the situation doesn't call for an offspeed offering. He might throw them back-to-back, regardless of the game setup, to see if he can make corrections and adjustments with the pitches going game speed.

"Spring Training for me, it's about getting as good as I can get and as physically prepared as I can get to pitch in the regular season," Peavy said. "I'm going to do certain things. I don't care if the situation says Monday that I don't need to throw a slider right here. If I threw a bad one the previous pitch, I'll throw another one.

"If the guy is a great breaking ball hitter or if there are two guys on, I don't care. It's a great luxury to be able to have when you don't have to really grind it out and make the team and be results oriented. It helps you get better and work on stuff."

Humber wants to stay strong

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When asked where he would like to be at the end of his five or six Spring Training starts, Philip Humber said Saturday night that how he felt after start No. 2 is a pretty good place.

"Honestly I feel really strong," said Humber, who struck out three and gave up two runs over three-plus innings against the Dodgers. "I feel like I'm getting a really good downhill plane on the ball. I feel like I'm behind [the ball].

"I'm going to stay in the process. I know what I need to do to prepare now between starts over the course of a season. I'm just staying consistent with that and hopefully no setbacks or anything like that and just keep building from here."

Humber worked in more breaking balls during this split-squad nightcap, using the pitch earlier in the at-bats.

Trio makes push in fight for long-relief role

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Hector Santiago presently looks secure to leave camp with one of the White Sox long-relief spots, after hurling four scoreless innings in his first two appearances. But Dylan Axelrod, Zach Stewart and Eric Stults pushed their candidacy a little further with strong outings during Saturday's 3-2 victory over the Rangers at Camelback Ranch.

Axelrod started and gave up one run in two innings, after allowing four runs in two innings during his first Cactus League trip to the mound. The right-hander, who made four appearances (three starts) for the White Sox in 2011, actually threw a bullpen after the outing and felt good through both.

"Yeah, I'm making progress slowly," said Axelrod, who walked two and struck out one. "I felt like that second inning I was pushing the ball a little bit. I just need to get back with mechanics in staying tall and keeping the ball down in the strike zone."

Stewart and Stults followed with two scoreless innings apiece, giving Stults three scoreless for the spring. While this group basically is fighting for two bullpen spots, there seems to be a certain camaraderie in the competition.

"They are my buddies. I wish nothing but the best for them," Axelrod said. "Hector and I have played together for three years now. We have each other's backs, and Zach Stewart, we got close during last year. We root for each other. I think it's a competitive environment and it's going to be fun."

"It's kind of a race when you get guys in there, their appearances and what they do," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "And as we keep moving along, guys move ahead, guys kind of take themselves out of it, but it was pretty good."

Konerko appears OK after fouling ball off knee

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Paul Konerko fouled a Scott Feldman pitch off of his left knee in the seventh inning of Saturday's 3-2 Cactus League victory over the Rangers. Konerko fought off the pain and finished the at-bat, walking normally to the clubhouse after being replaced by Andy Wilkins in the eighth. He did not require an X-ray, and is not scheduled to be in Sunday's lineup against the Rockies.

Konerko fought off the pain and finished the at-bat, walking normally to the clubhouse after being replaced by Andy Wilkins in the eighth.

"I don't know if you can bring gear up to your thigh," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Konerko, adding with a smile that Konerko should be fine to drive home because he was not in Saturday night's lineup.

Konerko was limited to the designated hitter's spot for 22 games from Aug. 4-28 last season after taking an Andrew Miller pitch off of his left calf/knee area on July 31.

Third to first

• Adam Dunn's second-inning strikeout against Colby Lewis on Saturday was his first this spring. Paul Konerko's fifth-inning single was his first spring hit.

• Manager Robin Ventura praised Lewis' perfect four innings Saturday more than showing worry about his own offense, which had scored two runs in the last two games until a three-run ninth.

"You're looking at guys who have played in only three games, so it happens," said Ventura, joking that the White Sox were simply setting up Lewis for Opening Day. "It was a good pitcher who was really spotting and he threw well."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.