ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Chicago White Sox showed Tuesday that they can play with distractions.
Wind, rain, hail, lightning, tornado warnings, nearly three hours worth of delays and six innings from the bullpen weren’t an issue in an 8-6 victory over the Texas Rangers.
Also not an issue: juggling the lineup. Carlos Quentin was moved into the three spot and marked the occasion with the first three-homer game of his career. Adam Dunn moved down to the No. 5 spot and while he didn’t deliver five home runs, he did hit one.
But this might have been just as big of a night for White Sox pitching, despite the six runs allowed.
Jake Peavy was fighting the wind so much that home-plate umpire Tim McClelland actually came up to him at one point to talk about his questionable set position.
“He was telling me, ‘Peav, you’re balking. I know the wind is causing it but you’re balking,’” Peavy said. “Obviously the leadoff guy got on in each inning so I was out of the stretch. I ended up having to go with a wider base just to not [sway].”
One outing after his complete game shutout against the Cleveland Indians, Peavy recognized that he didn’t have the same stuff Tuesday, but he hoped to see if he could battle through that challenge. The long delay didn't let him, as he was removed when play resumed two hours and 58 minutes later.
Peavy gave up two runs on five hits over his three innings, with one walk and two strikeouts. And yes, he did ask to go back into the game when it resumed.
“He wanted me to give him a shot [to go back in]” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “Come on, man. They couldn’t wait to fire me [for that]. That’s an easy way to get fired. But he came to me wanting to go out. … He came from a serious injury. I don’t care if he was healthy, I wouldn’t do that.”
Instead the bullpen was asked to take over, starting with Will Ohman, who pitched a perfect fourth inning. Tony Pena gave up two runs in his inning, Chris Sale gave up one in his and Jesse Crain pitched a scoreless inning. Matt Thornton gave up a run in his two-thirds of an inning before Sergio Santos closed it out with a four-out save.
“It feels a little bit like spring training because we all know we get one inning and it’s just you, you, you and you,” Santos said. “It’s nice because we all know we’re going to get some work in. It’s a weird feeling. You truly feel like a team because you’re like ‘Alright, you did your job now it’s my turn to come back and do my job.’”
Sometimes these are the games where teams just try to get through it and take whatever result comes their way. With the White Sox’s disappointing April, though, they didn’t have that luxury. They had to fight for a positive result and did it on the road.
“Those are the games you want to win,” Guillen said. “You don’t want to come here and have a three-hour rain delay and all of a sudden go out and lose when you were winning. I was worried about the bullpen a little bit going inning-by-inning, but everything worked out perfect.”