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CWS@NYY: Peavy strikes out 11 in complete-game effort

NEW YORK -- The June numbers just don't add up for Jake Peavy.

Factoring in his fourth complete game of the season on Saturday afternoon before 46,895 at Yankee Stadium, Peavy has a 2.76 ERA over six trips to the mound during the past 30 days. He has also recorded 37 strikeouts over 42 1/3 innings in that span, while holding opposing hitters to a .221 average.

But when also factoring in the Yankees' 4-0 victory over Peavy and the White Sox (42-36), which ended the American League Central leaders' four-game winning streak, Peavy's June record closed out at 0-4 with two no-decisions as part of a frustrating start to the summer.

"I'm just tired of losing," said Peavy, who set a personal White Sox high with 11 strikeouts and reached double digits for the 31st time in his career, while not issuing a walk. "My fifth day has been a rough one here the last month or so."

"He did everything he needed to do," Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson said of Peavy. "He threw a lot of strikes and was around the zone. We were just able to put a couple of balls in play hard and get them out of the ballpark."

Three of those balls put in play hard by the Yankees (47-30) cleared the fences, including Granderson's 23rd home run, coming on a 1-0 pitch with one out in the first. One-time White Sox outfielder Dewayne Wise doubled home Nick Swisher in the second and then launched his second homer of the season with one out in the fifth.

Robinson Cano completed the scoring with a titanic clout, his 19th of the year, into the second deck in right on the first pitch of the sixth. Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Russell Martin, who represented the three right-handed-hitting starters for the Yankees, finished 0-for-10 against Peavy, which stays in line with the .163 average righties have against him this season.

Left-handed hitters raised their average to .254 against Peavy, and they account for eight of the 11 homers he has allowed. But Peavy doesn't pay attention to those splits. It's only natural that left-handed hitters will have more success than righties at Yankee Stadium -- particularly pull hitters, in Peavy's estimation.

"How many balls get hit to the left side of the field? None," Peavy said. "They have no interest in hitting the ball that way, except for Robinson Cano. That's why he's hitting .300, because he will use the whole field. Those guys are great hitters, and why wouldn't you?"

Hiroki Kuroda (8-7) didn't last the full nine innings, but he did plenty of damage against the White Sox offense over seven. In the first inning, the right-hander allowed Alejandro De Aza's leadoff single, a two-out walk to Adam Dunn after De Aza was caught stealing and then Paul Konerko's ensuing single.

There wasn't another White Sox hit until Alex Rios' one-out single in the seventh. Their only baserunner until Rios came when Kevin Youkilis was hit by a pitch in the sixth -- a half-inning after Jeter was hit by Peavy -- as Kuroda fanned 11 and walked one.

"I'm not exactly a strikeout pitcher; I'm not a power pitcher, so I'm kind of surprised," said Kuroda of the 11 strikeouts. "I don't want to take it for granted. I just want to keep doing my job, and usually I induce a lot of ground balls. That's my style of pitching."

"Kuroda threw a lot of sliders," said second baseman Gordon Beckham, the only White Sox hitter without a strikeout. "He would sink the ball in every once in a while. He threw sliders that were good pitches, that weren't really over the middle of the plate. He just did a good job of keeping it down and away, out of the strike zone to a lot of the righties. At least he did for me."

Five pitchers combined for 24 strikeouts in the game, meaning Peavy made a $2,400 contribution to pancreatic cancer research. Peavy announced that he will donate $100 for every strikeout recorded in Major League Baseball during games played on Saturday in honor of his longtime friend and mentor Darrel Akerfelds, the former Padres bullpen coach who lost his 19-month battle with pancreatic cancer last Sunday.

That highly admirable donation was the positive part of the day for Peavy. His mound work was solid but not quite good enough on a day when Kuroda simply dominated.

Peavy's four-start losing streak represents a career worst, and he has lost his last three complete games, falling to the Yankees, Red Sox (April 28) and Cubs (June 19). It doesn't help when the White Sox offense has produced just two runs over his last four outings.

"I've pitched my whole life with not a whole lot of run support, so this is nothing new," Peavy said. "At the same time, on your fifth day, you want to win. I told you all from the get-go I don't care how it has to happen.

"We just haven't found a way to get it done this last month and a half. We've thrown some good games in there and it hasn't been enough, and today we had no chance after I gave up a couple, as good as those guys were."

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