OAKLAND – Jake Peavy, Adam Dunn and Alex Rios question marks? At the rate they’re going, they won’t be much longer.
Paul Konerko? Never.
Peavy, Dunn and Rios – three-fourths of the White Sox’ subpar group of 2011 that’s being counted on to bounce back and have the 2012 team playing meaningful games in September – kept their fast-track starts going in the Sox’ 4-0 victory over the Oakland A’s on Monday night.
The Sox (10-6) have won four in a row on their West Coast trip, six in a row on the road and five of their last six games overall.
Konerko, sore foot and all, continues to hit like he’s in the prime of his career. Against former Sox right-hander Bartolo Colon, Dunn and Konerko opened the fourth inning with back-to-back home runs to break a scoreless tie.
But the biggest story of the night – and perhaps the young season – is Peavy, who improved to 3-0 by giving up four hits and two walks while striking out five. His three perfect innings to open the game were more notable than usual because it’s been that kind of stretch for the Sox lately.
The A’s Jemile Weeks and Coco Crisp dashed Peavy’s ‘‘Late Night with David Letterman” dreams by opening the fourth with a single and walk, but Peavy got Josh Reddick to rap into a double play and Yoenis Cespedes to hit a foul pop to catcher A.J. Pierzynski.
“With Jake, it’s just a stuff thing, where he’s blowing people away,” manager Robin Ventura said. “It’s just pitching.”
“That was a good feeling,” Peavy said. “I made some good pitches and was aggressive early. Those two homers helped and A.J. did a good job.”
Peavy made his fourth quality start in as many outings and was very good – or better – for his third in a row. This one followed two runs in 62/3 innings against the Tigers and one run in seven innings against the Orioles. He pitched his first complete game since May 18 of last year against Cleveland.
“I’m just blessed to be healthy,” Peavy said. “That’s all I can tell you. I go out and just try to compete. I didn’t know if I would ever do it again. I feel very fortunate to be finally healthy and be able to help the ballclub.”
Dunn’s homer, his fourth, was pulled down the right-field line. Konerko’s homer, his third this season and 399th of his career, was launched to right-center field.
Dunn has three homers and 11 RBI in his last six games. He played first base for the second straight game while Konerko, nursing a sore right foot from a ball he fouled off in Seattle on Friday, was the DH.
Dunn has 369 career home runs, tying him with Ralph Kiner for 71st all-time. Konerko is tied for 48th with Al Kaline and Andres Galarraga.
Rios, who batted .227 last season, had three hits for the second straight game to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. He’s 17-for-40 (.425) in that stretch.
Even struggling Sox Brent Morel and Gordon Beckham contributed. Morel (2-for-4 with a double) reached base three times and scored the third run on Beckham’s single in the ninth. Beckham had hit into two double plays before that.
Peavy, as good as he’s been, says he hasn’t peaked.
“I feel like I can get better,” Peavy said. “Like I have some room to grow. My arm is going to get a little bit stronger. I didn’t have great stuff tonight but we were able to pitch and compete.”