Peavy strikes out 11 in complete-game loss
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By RICK FREEMAN
The White Sox just couldn't match the Yankees homer for homer.
Kuroda tied a career high by striking out 11 and the New York Yankees backed him with three home runs, beating Peavy and the White Sox 4-0 on Saturday and ending Chicago's four-game winning streak.
A day after outfielder Dewayne Wise was perfect in his pro pitching debut during a mop-up role, he was perfect at the plate. He had three hits and homered. Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano also connected.
"I felt like I made a lot of good pitches," Peavy said. "Obviously not enough. ... The Yankees are always going to do that to you."
Kuroda (8-7) pitched three-hit ball for seven innings and walked one in the matchup of AL division leaders. Peavy (6-5) struck out 11 without a walk in his fourth complete game this year.
New York's pitching situation has been fraught since Wednesday, when the Yankees placed CC Sabathia on the disabled list with a strained groin, and lost Andy Pettitte for two months when he was hit in the lower left fibula by a batted ball, breaking the bone at the ankle.
Since then, Ivan Nova gave the Yankees a good start in a game the bullpen lost Thursday and rookie Adam Warren couldn't get out of the third inning on Friday night in a game that the bullpen made even worse. Wise had to finish off the 14-7 loss by getting the last two outs.
The right-hander retired 15 straight batters after Paul Konerko's two-out single in the first inning, ending his streak by hitting Kevin Youkilis with a pitch when there were two outs in the sixth. The plunking came after Derek Jeter had been hit by a pitch in the bottom of the fifth following Wise's homer.
"I was trying to be too careful, too perfect," Kuroda said through a translator. "Now I try to be as aggressive as possible."
He was talking about Saturday, but he could have been talking about his acclimation to the American League since coming over from the Dodgers. In his last seven starts he's 5-1 with 46 strikeouts against 11 walks in his last seven starts and a 1.65 ERA.
"I think the whole game he was in control," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "He just never really gave anybody a good pitch to hit in a hitter's count."
Chicago has still won six of eight during a run that helped it overtake Cleveland for the AL Central lead. The White Sox fell to 23-15 on the road, which still has them only a half-game behind the Yankees for best in the AL.
Peavy was taken deep to right three times.
"When Jake made a mistake, they'd hit it," second baseman Gordon Beckham said. "Some of the pitches they hit they actually weren't terrible pitches. They just had a better day than us and Kuroda was good."
Granderson hit one out in the first, Wise's homer came in the fifth and Cano led off the sixth with a towering first-pitch drive. The Yankees began the day with what was already a major league-best 119 home runs.
Wise also hit an RBI double on the first pitch he saw in the second and tied a career high with three hits.
"We did our homework. I think he'd swing at about 5 of 32 first pitches. Thirty-two at-bats and he swung at them five times, just figured he was taking there," Peavy said. "I would have took the one pitch that he hit out of the ballpark back, but other than that I really felt like we had a good game plan and executed for the most part."
NOTES: Peavy pledged to donate $100 for every strikeout he had today toward pancreatic cancer research in memory of his friend, Padres bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds. The former major league pitcher appeared in 125 games for Oakland, Cleveland, Texas and Philadelphia, and had worked with the Padres since 2001. He died on Sunday at age 50. After the game, Peavy also said he'd match $52,000 that had been raised. "I think it's only right for me to match that, just in his honor." ... White Sox RHP Gavin Floyd is set to face Yankees righty Phil Hughes in Sunday's game, which will be Old-Timers' Day at Yankee Stadium. ... Gametime temperature was 93 degrees. ... Chicago returns home after Sunday's series finale for an off day before facing Texas and Toronto for six games going into the All-Star break. The Yankees wrap up before the break with three games at Tampa Bay and a four-game set in Boston that includes a day-night doubleheader on Saturday, July 7.
Updated June 30, 2012