Peavy ends spring training with 0.00 ERA

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PHOENIX (AP)—Jake Peavy had a nearly perfect spring training.

He threw five more shutout innings in the San Diego Padres’ 6-1 win over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday, and has not allowed a run in 14 innings in the Cactus League.

“I’m excited to start the year,” said Peavy, who struck out 10 and walked none overall. “I guess I’m as close to ready as I can possibly be. I’ve got the confidence going that I can give the team a chance to win.”

He’ll get his first start on opening day Monday, when he faces Hiroki Kuroda and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Peavy was close to 60 pitches, backing off from about 90 in his last start on Friday night so he’ll be fresh for the opener. He said he should be able to throw 100-plus pitches on Monday.

Peavy, however, struggled for the United States in the World Baseball Classic. He said his arm felt fine for the WBC but he simply hadn’t gotten enough work to be at his best, from a mechanical standpoint.

“I was behind when I got over there. I wasn’t ready for that high intensity. I had four innings under my belt before I threw those meaningful games.”

Back at spring training, “You’re able to work on stuff. It’s quite a bit more relaxed.”

He said he worked from the stretch the entire fourth and fifth innings Wednesday.

“You obviously can’t do that at the World Baseball Classic.”

All in all, he said. “It’s been a good spring. It was a great experience going to the Classic. I wish it would have turned out different. (But) I’ve gotten my work in.”

He added one caveat to his spring performance: He’s not exactly ready to hit big league pitching.

“Don’t expect much there. I’ve seen one pitch,” he said.

It’s his mound work that his manager is concerned with.

“I like the way he’s keeping the ball down,” Padres manager Bud Black said.

“Fastballs, down. Changeup, down. The last two games, I’ve seen a lot of quality pitches down in the strike zone.

“He has the ability to throw the ball upstairs, too. But I like it down.”

The Sox’s Clayton Richard gave up three runs and six hits over six innings. A.J. Pierzynski went 2-for-4.

But the Sox committed two more errors—by Alexei Ramirez and Wilson Betemit — to run their spring total to a major league-high 45. Entering Wednesday, the next highest error total was 41 by Florida. The next-highest total in the American League was 32 by Cleveland.

“We look real shaky there in the field,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “It’s cost us a lot of runs. We have to get better at that.”

Before the game, the White Sox outrighted outfielder Jerry Owens to Triple-A Charlotte. Owens had been a contender for the center fielder’s job entering spring training. He was placed on waivers on Monday after hitting .230 with five RBIs and three stolen bases in 17 games this spring.

Owens hit .268 in 117 games with the Sox from 2006-08.

Also before the game, the Padres acquired relief pitcher Edward Mujica from the Cleveland Indians for a player to be named or cash. They also optioned outfielder Drew Macias to Tirple-A Portland and reassigned outfielder Emil Brown, pitcher Greg Burke, catcher Eliezer Alphonso and infielder Kyle Blanks to their minor league camp. They released pitchers Justin Hampson and Jae Kuk Rhu. ^Notes: Sox infielders Josh Fields and Chris Getz had the day off. Fields has been one of the top hitters in the Cactus League with a .443 average … Guillen praised Brent Lillibridge, saying his level of play has improved since he was informed he’d made the club as a utility player. “He’s been more relaxed,” Guillen said. “He shortened up his swing. I think his swing was too long for his size. I think this kid will be a key for us.”

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