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10/02/12 12:11 AM ET

White Sox stick together in good and bad

CLEVELAND -- The reasons for the White Sox fade over the past 12 games are as wide-ranging as the various disciplines of the game. But whether the offense isn't scoring enough runs or misfiring with runners in scoring position or it's the pitching allowing too many runs, there has been no finger-pointing.

"We went through the ups and downs together and had each others' backs to the end," White Sox reliever Matt Thornton said. "Any time we struggled, there has never been any finger-pointing at anyone. It was a team loss or team win. You always want to keep that sort of group of guys together."

"I know a lot of people are going to blame the offense. We just didn't score enough," White Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy said. "But there's no separation in this clubhouse. We're a team on all aspects of the ball and weren't good enough."

'Disappointed' Liriano reflects on season

CLEVELAND -- The July 28 acquisition of Francisco Liriano from the Minnesota Twins was not solely designed to push the White Sox into the postseason.

Adding the talented left-handed hurler, after coming up short on prying loose Zack Greinke from Milwaukee despite an exhaustive effort, was aimed at strengthening the White Sox top-notch rotation to compete with any team on the path to the World Series. Liriano was also expected to lighten the workload for a young bullpen by working deep into games and take a little pressure off rookie Jose Quintana and first-year starter Chris Sale, who had blown by their single-season high-water mark for innings pitched.

It's now two months later, and Liriano will finish the season completely removed from the starting five. He has not started or appeared in a game since Sept. 25, when Liriano gave up four runs on seven hits over 3 2/3 innings in a home loss to Cleveland.

In a game Monday where the White Sox were clinging to their long-shot playoff hopes, the team went with rookie Hector Santiago in his fourth Major League start over Liriano. So, went wrong during Liriano's Chicago stint?

To Liriano's credit, he has not hid from the problems. He didn't get the job done by posting a 5.40 ERA over 12 games and 11 starts for the White Sox, and understands why they have reduced his workload.

"They were trying to find a way to win a ballgame, and I wasn't doing my job," said Liriano, who was traded for utility infielder Eduardo Escobar and Minor League left-hander Pedro Hernandez. "I was just walking people, getting behind in the count.

"For the games that I pitched well, or pitched better, those are the games that I don't walk that many guys. It's when I walk a lot of guys that I get myself in trouble, missing my spot, and sometimes I just missed it by an inch."

Issuing free passes has been a year-long problem for Liriano, who has walked 87 over 156 2/3 innings. His plan is to regroup by playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic and work on trying to find a consistent release point.

He'll then tackle free agency, where Liriano would like to find a job as a starting pitcher -- albeit a more consistent one than he showed with the White Sox.

"Yeah, I'm disappointed in myself," said Liriano, who still has enjoyed his time with the White Sox. "They believed in me. They gave me the chance to help the team win some ballgames and I didn't. I tried to do my best. I gave it all I got. It didn't happen."

"Maybe a little bit of that [not finding the zone]," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of what went wrong for Liriano. "You go through periods where you are trying to do a lot to prove the trade and things like that."

Peavy waiting to worry about future

CLEVELAND -- When Jake Peavy talked to MLB.com on Saturday about his 2012 accomplishments, he pointed to being able to take the baseball every fifth day and take the mound healthy with greatest pride. But when he was asked about his future with the White Sox or a possible foray into free agency, Peavy said that he hadn't put much thought into the matter because of the overall team focus and goals.

Even with the team one loss or one Tigers win away from elimination, Tuesday's starter for the White Sox still hadn't put much time into mapping out his future.

"I just wanted to stay focused and find a way to get us in the playoffs," Peavy said. "That's all going to shake out in the next few months anyway so there's no doing yourself any favors trying to figure it out.

"It depends if these guys want me back and what they value me as. I haven't had any dialogue."

The White Sox hold a $22 million option for 2013, which most likely will be declined in favor of a $4 million buyout. If Peavy goes into free agency, he reiterated Monday that representing himself remains a distinct possibility. He also has talked to agents such as John Boggs and Jeff Berry, with Peavy's longtime agent and friend Barry Axelrod leaving the business.

One thing the 11-year-veteran knows is that he would like to play as long as his body and the game allows.

"I'm going to play until this uniform is taken away from me," Peavy said. "I love the game. My boys are getting to the age where my children understand what Daddy does and they enjoy it. They enjoy coming.

"That's something that's special to me and special to them. You miss out on stuff by being away, but at the same time if I stay around five years, I'll be 36 and able to spend a lot of good quality time with them.

"Honestly, I'm so blessed and fortunate to be healthy again. I never knew if this would be possible, to have a year like I did, and I feel like all that is behind me now."

Third to first

• Alex Rios is 11-for-21 in his last six games and is batting .390 over his last 21 games.

• A.J. Pierzynski tied his career-high with 77 RBIs on his run-scoring single in the sixth inning of Monday's 11-0 victory.

• Dayan Viciedo is hitting .342 vs. left-handers this season, compared to .223 vs. righties.

• Alejandro De Aza missed his third straight game due to the flu on Monday.

• The White Sox finished with a roller coaster of a ride at U.S. Cellular Field to get to their 45-36 record. They started 7-13, only to go 32-13 over the next 45 home games. But they concluded with a 6-10 mark in their final 16. The team hit .288 with 78 homers and a 3.99 ERA over its great 45-game run, but had a .217 average with runners in scoring position and a 5.21 ERA over the last 16.

• An 11-17 record in September gave the White Sox their second losing month this season. They also finished 13-14 in June. That 11-17 mark matched their results from last September.

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.