Ozzie: Thornton to close

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Matt Thornton will break camp as the White Sox’s primary closer, manager Ozzie Guillen said after Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Oakland A’s.

Thornton and rookie Chris Sale, also a left-hander, were considered the top two contenders to take over the role vacated by the departure of Bobby Jenks. Sale was 4-for-4 in save opportunites late last season but has struggled with his command this spring.

Thornton, who signed a contract extension earlier this month, saved eight games last year and is 17-for-18 lifetime in ninth-inning save opportunities. He made the American League All-Star team as a setup man in 2010.

“I think with Sale we would be putting a lot on his shoulders,” Guillen said. “I think Matt Thornton earned it, we have a lot of confidence in him and I think he can do the job better.”

Guillen also said Jake Peavy would likely break camp with the team as its fifth starter.

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