MLB: Athletics knock off White Sox |

MLB: Athletics knock off White Sox

Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) – White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen thinks Jake Peavy is on track to start the season in the big leagues.

Peavy, in his fourth start following shoulder surgery in July, had his longest outing of spring training, pitching into the sixth inning of the White Sox’s 8-3 loss to Oakland Athletics on Saturday.

He gave up seven hits and three runs in 5 2-3 innings. Peavy walked none and struck out three.

Guillen said Peavy “is making a lot of progress. He threw very well. If everything goes the way it has gone so far, he’ll be on the ballclub” for opening day.

Peavy threw 83 pitches, striking out the last two batters he faced. A stomach virus almost forced him to scratch his start, but he was pleased with the effort.

“The strength is starting to come back. All in all, I feel good,” Peavy said. “We got through it.”

His big mistake was an opposite-field two-run homer to Ryan Sweeney in the third inning on a 3-1 pitch.

Sweeney has played in just five games so far. The A’s outfielder has been eased back into action after a knee injury ended his season last July.

“My swing feels comfortable right now,” Sweeney said. “I’m trying to be more aggressive with the hitter’s count. I didn’t know if I got it or not, but I heard the crowd’s reaction.”

Trevor Cahill took a shutout into the seventh inning for the A’s. He gave up four hits, walked one and struck out three in 6 1-3 innings. His previous longest outing was four innings, and this one reduced his spring ERA from 7.59 to 5.29.

“My changeup was a lot better,” Cahill said. “I’ve been throwing it more and more. It’s a ‘feel’ pitch.”

Cahill, in his fifth spring start, gave up four hits and one run. He walked one and struck out three in 6 1-3 innings. His previous longest outing was four innings.

The right-hander, who was 18-8 with a 2.79 ERA last season, said he was glad for the extended work on Saturday.

He gave up just three singles in the first six innings, then Adam Dunn’s ground-rule double leading off the seventh. After Alexei Ramirez grounded out, Guillermo Moscoso relieved Cahill. Dunn scored on A.J. Pierzynski’s groundout for Chicago’s first run.

NOTES: The A’s acquired Sweeney from the White Sox in the 2008 deal that sent Nick Swisher to Chicago. … The attendance was 8,091, a sellout at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. … Oakland CF Coco Crisp sat out with a tight hamstring. … The White Sox and A’s also played Friday in Glendale, with Chicago winning 18-1.