CHICAGO — The Toronto Blue Jays are trudging into the All-Star break a weary team.
They’re in great need of some time off and some reinforcements.
“Tonight was the first sign of fatigue. Not to make excuses, but this starting nine has been running out there every day,” manager John Farrell said after his team committed two errors and was beaten by Jake Peavy and the Chicago White Sox 4-2 on Friday night.
“That’s where some of the lack of depth on the bench, because we’re carrying an extra pitcher, starts to come into play a little bit,” Farrell added. “We’re not making excuses. We’re looking to find ways to conserve energy to get through this first half. It’s shown up the last couple of nights.”
Peavy (7-5) allowed five hits and a run in 7 1/3 innings, giving up a homer to Adam Lind. Chicago got three runs in the fifth when the Blue Jays played some sloppy defence and A.J. Pierzynski homered in the sixth off Aaron Laffey.
Laffey (0-1) yielded eight hits and four runs — three earned — in six innings with a walk and four strikeouts.
“He keeps the game under control, throws a lot of strikes, doesn’t get rattled in certain situations and is not going to pitch away from contact,” Farrell said of Laffey. “They were able to bunch some hits together in that fifth inning, and we contributed with some of the defence, but overall he’s done a good job for us.”
Dayan Viciedo led off the fifth with a double and scored on Alexei Ramirez’s single. Ramirez made it to second on the throw and went to third when Toronto left fielder Rajai Davis’ toss sailed over the head of catcher J.P. Arencibia for an error.
Beckham then followed with a bloop single to left between three defenders to give the White Sox a 2-1 lead and made second when third baseman Brett Lawrie made an errant flip attempt to Davis, hoping to get the ball back to the infield. Beckham advanced to third on a fly ball and scored an RBI single by Kevin Youkilis. It was Youkilis’ seventh RBI in the four-game homestand, his first with the White Sox since a trade from Boston last month.
“We didn’t help our cause here tonight,” said Farrell, whose team has lost 7 of 11 to fall to 42-42. “I thought we hit some balls against Peavy fairly hard. Didn’t find a hole, but he did a very good job against us. Not many opportunities. He pretty much kept us in check.”
Peavy had been 0-4 in his previous four starts — throwing two complete games — when Chicago scored only two runs total during those losses.
“It’s a whole different feeling, I promise you that,” Peavy said. “When you get a lead in a ballgame as a starting pitcher, it changes the whole way you go about things. I know it shouldn’t. ... You know you have room to wiggle a little bit. You are more aggressive and it’s just nice.”
Addison Reed earned his 13th save in 14 chances despite giving up a run in the ninth. He walked leadoff hitter Edwin Encarnacion, gave up a single to Lind and a sacrifice fly to Yunel Escobar before getting Davis to ground into a game-ending double play.
Notes: White Sox RHP Phil Humber, on the DL with a strained elbow, made a rehab start Friday night, pitching for Triple-A Charlotte. He gave up five hits, including a homer, and two runs in four innings. ... Pierzynski is two homers shy of matching his career high of 18 set in 2005. ... The Blue Jays are 24-10 against the White Sox since 2008.