6/20/2013 5:01 P.M. ET
Confidence key as Crain breaks White Sox mark
By Kelly Erickson / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- After two days off Tuesday and Wednesday, White Sox reliever Jesse Crain threw his franchise-record 28th straight scoreless outing Thursday against his former team at Target Field.
The right-hander entered the game as the White Sox trailed the Twins, 8-4, but he kept them from adding on. Crain faced only three batters and gave up a base hit to start the seventh inning, but he retired the next two batters on a strikeout -- and double play to first -- and a flyout to left field.
"I just go out there and I take it day by day, pitch by pitch," Crain said. "I feel like you get better every year, you learn something. I'm trying to put everything together this year. So far, it's worked out.
Crain brought his already impressive ERA down from 0.57 to 0.55. Through 32 2/3 innings this season, he has given up only two runs on 23 hits, while striking out 43.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura noted that Crain is just as solid as last year, but there's a little more control and a little more confidence to the reliever this season.
"A lot of it looks the same," Ventura said. "I don't know exactly [where] to pinpoint it, but he's just been spot on as far as control. He throws anything in any count. I think that the confidence to be able to do that deep in a count with guys on, without guys on -- the control has just been there with every pitch."
Peavy takes encouraging step from broken rib
MINNEAPOLIS -- White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy clocked some time on the bike Wednesday, his first bit of notable exercise since suffering a broken rib earlier this month.
Once it was discovered that he had broken a rib, Peavy was placed on the disabled list and was expected to miss four to six weeks.
But putting in some work on the bike is a positive sign for the right-hander.
"I think at this point, anything is encouraging," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "It's unique -- just something that you can't really do anything, can't really exert yourself at all. He's happy to actually be doing something, which is good."
Sox collect more hits, but results not there yet
MINNEAPOLIS -- Headed into Thursday's game, the White Sox ranked last in the American League with 561 hits on the season.
They also rank last in runs scored with 250. But when it comes to a lack of offense, questions about the effectiveness of the hitting coach start to crop up -- in Chicago's case, Jeff Manto.
"When it goes like this, you look at me too," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I see what Jeff's doing and I'm behind him, just because I know how hard he works and what he's putting into it.
"At any point, that's just part of the game."
The White Sox are 1-5 in the first six games of a 10-game road trip -- outscored 27-21 in that stretch. But while the hits have come later in the games, the losses can't be blamed on a lack of them -- regardless of whatever criticism the Sox offense may face.
In those six games, Chicago outhit its opponents, 51-49, and lost three of those games by one run. All in all, the White Sox just haven't been able to convert on the offense they do produce.
"We're consistent with what we're doing and what we'd like to see," Ventura said. "At some point, it's frustrating for them too. The results aren't there. The players are just as frustrated as anyone else. You want that feel and get it going in the right direction."
Kelly Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.