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Bullpen meltdown drops White Sox out of first place

The SportsXchange

Everything Jake Peavy was saying Wednesday made sense, with the veteran pitcher talking about how dangerous the Chicago White Sox would be in the postseason.

"Because we can pitch," Peavy said. "And our offense has potential to run up some big (numbers). If we hit some homers with some guys on base, with the pitching staff and the bullpen evolving the way it's evolved, and we have a few starters that can get on a roll."

They may not get the chance if things keep going in the current direction.

The Sox have now lost seven of their last eight games to fall out of first place in the AL Central.

The meltdown continued Wednesday, this time with the bullpen at fault in a 6-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians. The Detroit Tigers edged the Kansas City Royals 5-4 to take a one-game lead in the division race.

The White Sox led 4-3 before the Indians tied the game in the sixth inning against Donnie Veal and Nate Jones. Cleveland took the lead in the seventh against Matt Thornton, then added some insurance in the eighth with a Vinny Rottino solo homer off Brett Myers.

Chicago starter Hector Santiago went just 3 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits.

Peavy's hope was the team could still find a way to get in the postseason.

"Because if we get in, I think we're a dangerous team," Peavy said. "I don't think anyone is lining up wanting to play us with the talent we have in this room."

Peavy pointed out that the Sox were 5-2 against the New York Yankees this season and 6-3 against the Texas Rangers. The problem is, they can't beat the likes of Kansas City and Cleveland when it's mattered most.

"We can play with any team in baseball on any given day," Peavy said. "I'd love to have a chance to be in the playoffs."

Peavy will have a chance to back his tough talk up Thursday, when he starts the opener of a four-game home series against the Tampa Bay Rays. It will be crucial for both teams. The White Sox then conclude the regular season with three games at Cleveland.

The Tigers take on the Royals once more in Detroit, then play a weekend series at Minnesota before finishing with three games at Kansas City.
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