09/03/12 12:44 AM ET
Reed has 'fun' against best hitters
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
"It really is fun for me every time," said the White Sox closer, who yielded a single to the American League Most Valuable Player candidate during the ninth inning of Saturday's 5-1 loss. "I like facing the best hitters.
"That's kind of when I'm the most focused. The most fun I'm having is when they are up there, and in my opinion, he's probably the best hitter in the league."
Reed entered the game with the White Sox losing primarily because he had not seen mound action since Aug. 25. He gave up a leadoff triple to Austin Jackson, and after ending an eight-pitch battle with Brennan Boesch via a strikeout, he engaged in another extended at-bat with Cabrera.
Cabrera, who had struck out in his three previous career at-bats against Reed, worked the count to 2-2 before fouling off two fastballs and a changeup. He then dropped a slider into right field for a run-scoring single.
That pitch was decent but not perfect, by Reed's admission. One thing that Reed has learned is that even the best of pitches sometimes get hit at the Major League level.
"Not just with him, but with any of these guys up here," Reed said. "It's a lot different than the Minors. Everyone up here can hit. Even when you make your pitch, they can hit it out of the park with any pitch you throw.
"With Cabrera, anything you throw up there he can hit. You have to make your pitch and just go with what's working best for you at the time. Locate it and hope that he's guessing on a different pitch. It was a good challenge and hopefully I get him again."
Peavy confident despite cushion evaporating
DETROIT -- Jake Peavy didn't need to wait for Sunday's final result against the Tigers to provide the following assessment of his team.
Win or lose, the White Sox are playoff caliber.
"Absolutely, I believe we are a playoff team," said the intense White Sox starting pitcher. "It's the only way to go about it. The chips will fall where they may, but I believe this team has what it takes.
"We've come a long way in a year, but we are far from being satisfied in doing what we've done. Win, lose or draw tonight, we'll go home in a good frame of mind and get after Minnesota [on Monday]."
The White Sox exited Sunday night's 4-2 loss with a 1-6 record on their seven-game road trip to Baltimore and Detroit. As Peavy pointed out, the White Sox were one Nate McLouth eighth-inning homer Monday from splitting that series against a top-notch Orioles team and had a number of chances to put away the Tigers during his Friday start.
"They got the big hit and grinded that game out," Peavy said. "Last night, we ran into an absolute buzzsaw, Max Scherzer. He's as good as anybody in the game right now, the way he has been throwing the ball."
But "resiliency" has been the word most commonly attached to this 2012 squad. The White Sox started the second half with a 3-7 road trip and slipped into second place by 1 1/2 games, only to win five straight after a Detroit road sweep and reclaim a 2 1/2-game edge in the American League Central.
Despite injuries piling up, a somewhat common theme at this time of year, Peavy has no doubt this team's resolve will put it in a favorable postseason position.
"This team can play with anybody in baseball. We showed that, we believe that," Peavy said. "If anybody would have said, 'Hey, you are going to be tied or [two games up] with 29 to go,' this is what you live to play for and we are going to stay positive.
"We believe in ourselves. I promise you that we'll believe until the last out is made in the last game, and hopefully, when that out is made, we are doing some celebrating."
Dunn feeling better, but out of lineup
DETROIT -- After a couple of days of intense treatment from White Sox head athletic trainer Herm Schneider, Adam Dunn reported his strained right oblique was feeling better than it did Friday.
Dunn intended to take some test swings during Sunday night's contest against the Tigers, although nothing could be projected as far as his return.
"I want to be in there today. I understand why I'm not. It's fine," Dunn said. "I'd rather miss today than miss  games. Hopefully we won't need me today, but hopefully I could maybe come in later in the game and do something, if not tomorrow.
"To sit there and watch a big game like that and can't do anything, it [stinks]. I love playing and if it was anything -- I've never had anything like this to where you can't swing. If I could even remotely, I would do it. That's the thing, other little nicks and knacks, you can cover them up but it's kind of hard to fake this one."
Rehabbing Floyd to throw off mound Monday
DETROIT -- Gavin Floyd will throw off the mound on Monday for the first time since he went on the disabled list retroactive to Aug. 27 with a right elbow flexor strain. But the right-hander isn't under consideration for a rotation return, and won't be until he's operating pain-free.
"Then you kind of go from there," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "But right now, there's still a little bit in there that I wouldn't feel comfortable even setting a time for him to pitch."
"The medication did quite well as far as the soreness is concerned," Floyd said. "It's still tender, still sore. Certain throws it aggravates me. It's better than yesterday. Hopefully, I just continue throwing and it will progress."
Floyd will continue to throw only fastballs on Monday. If he passes that particular test, the final exam of sorts will be working in the breaking pitches he relies on.
"We have things planned out, bullpens and throw and try to get the strength back and see how things react and see how I feel on certain things," Floyd said. "Just keep on going and try to stay to the plan."
Hector Santiago, who is Monday's starter against the Twins, Philip Humber and Dylan Axelrod when he returns Tuesday from Double-A Birmingham will fill Floyd's spot in the interim.
Third to first
Alejandro De Aza didn't want to miss 14 games as the White Sox pushed toward the postseason, but the leadoff hitter and center fielder had to heal his bruised left ribs and then get his timing down through an injury rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte before returning.
"I have my timing all right," said De Aza, who was 5-for-16 over four games with the Knights and homered in his first at-bat against Justin Verlander on Sunday night during the a 4-2 loss. "I've been in a good situation with my hitting approach." White Sox manager Robin Ventura believes the spacious dimensions of Comerica Park play a part in the club's 3-18 record over its last 21 played in Detroit.
"There have been some balls hit in the last couple of games that would be home runs in our park that you don't get here," Ventura said. "The ones they hit would have been out of anywhere.
"We probably would have had a couple. It's just the way it goes. It's a different type of ballpark. I think they play very well in it." A.J. Pierzynski and Justin Verlander exchanged words during Pierzynski's seventh-inning leadoff at-bat, which eventually resulted in a strikeout during the Tigers' 4-2 victory on Sunday. Verlander said Pierzynski yelled a couple of words he "could not repeat" after the 1-0 pitch, so he yelled back at him after the strikeout.
"I have nothing but respect for Justin," said Pierzynski. "I've seen him a few times off the field and he's always very polite and he threw a great game. He said something and I turned around and was like, 'What?' [Catcher Gerald) Laird said it was nothing so I walked off. But he threw great, he deserves a lot of credit."
Chris Sale has allowed 12 homers over his last eight starts.