Peavy gives red-hot bullpen a night off

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 05/18/2011, 07:08pm

Reason for hope: The White Sox bullpen is not only a problem of the past, it is a strength. Sox relievers have not allowed an earned run in 27 2/3 innings over the last 11 games. In the last 14, games, the pen has surrendered one earned run over 31 1/3 innings (0.29).

“Our bullpen can compete against anyone in the league right now,” manager Ozzie Guillen said.

The bullpen rested easy Wednesday night while starter Jake Peavy cruised, throwing a three-hit shutout as the Sox defeated the Indians 1-0.

Matt Thornton was warming in the bullpen in the ninth, but it was Peavy’s game to win.

Sergio Santos was six-for-six in save opportunities and hasn’t allowed a run since last season, Jesse Crain has seven straight scoreless outings and Matt Thornton three.

Sox relievers lead the AL with 8.7 strikeouts per nine innings and posted a 0.74 ERA with five saves in five chances in May, down from 5.55 and six blown saves in April.

Chris Sale is still searching for consistency but has made baby steps in recent outings.

“He has good enough stuff to be up there [in the late innings],” Guillen said. “If Chris throws strikes he can be one of the nastiest lefties in the game.”