Chicago White Sox's Tyler Flowers watches his home run off Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander during the sixth inning in Chicago.
CHICAGO — If today was Jake Peavy’s last start with the White Sox, he wanted a reminder of his days in Chicago.
Peavy chose to have the White Sox wear the team’s 1983 throwback jerseys, then outpitched Justin Verlander in a 7-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers.
Peavy (8-4) has been the subject of trade speculation as the July 31 deadline approaches. He hadn’t pitched in the old-style uniforms — usually reserved for Sundays — and knew that with multiple scouts watching him, it might be his last chance.
The fans also recognized today might have been the end for Peavy in Chicago, and they gave him standing ovations following the seventh inning and when he was relieved in the eighth after giving up Brayan Pena’s home run.
“It was very humbling. It was emotional for me,” Peavy said. “If it was the last time I pitch here at U.S. Cellular Field, with this uniform on, it was a nice way to go out. It meant the absolute world to me. I hope everyone knows that.”
The Tigers again played minus Miguel Cabrera and had their four-game winning streak end. The AL MVP missed his third straight game because of an injured left hip flexor.
Cabrera’s status for Friday night’s home game against Philadelphia was uncertain.
“I’m not going to do anything stupid,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “Just have to wait and see how he comes in tomorrow.”
Torii Hunter homered for the third time in the series. But the Tigers outfielder exited in the eighth and is day to day with a sore left Achilles.
Peavy was acquired from San Diego on July 31, 2009, and re-signed for two years with the White Sox last October. He didn’t get no-trade protection because he figured Chicago, which won 85 games in 2012, would be in contention this season.
That, however, isn’t the case. Peavy helped Chicago avoid falling 21 games below .500.
Peavy said again that he’s open to either staying in Chicago or leaving for a contending team.
“I’ll be happy to stay here and be the best teammate I can be, grind it out the rest of the season and make sure we keep playing hard and show up to win every day,” Peavy said.
“If I get traded, I’ll give the boys a big hug and make sure a few tears will be shed, leaving the friendships here. And I’ll go play as hard as I can to help the next ballclub I’m on, if that happens. Just going to take it in and we’ll see how the next few days play out,” he said.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura doesn’t have a say in Peavy’s future. If he did, he’d push for the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner to stay in Chicago.
“It’s one of those I enjoy him being on our team. I know what he means,” Ventura said. “I don’t make that decision so, again, I’m the guy that’s appreciating just him being on our team right now. I hope he’s here through next year, too.”
Peavy allowed four hits, three of them homers, and four hits while striking out seven in the matchup of former Cy Young winners.
In two starts since returning from the disabled list with a broken left rib, Peavy is 2-0 and has given up six earned runs in 13 innings.
Verlander (10-8) gave up seven runs and 11 hits in six innings. Tyler Flowers, catching for the first time since July 21, homered off the Tigers star.
“Today, as funny as it sounds, was a step in the right direction,” Verlander said. “I thought my stuff was the best it’s been all year. It was just a little erratic.”
Addison Reed allowed the tying run to get to the plate in the ninth but struck out Pena to pick up his 26th save in 30 tries, keeping the White Sox from getting swept in a four-game series at home by Detroit for the first time since June 20-22, 1980.
Verlander, who fell to 0-2 against the White Sox this season, struggled early.
Chicago scored twice in the first for its first lead in the series. Paul Konerko and Jeff Keppinger hit RBI singles with two outs.
Peavy allowed his first hit in the fourth when Austin Jackson singled. Hunter followed with his 10th homer.
The White Sox scored four times in the bottom half. Flowers hit an RBI double off left fielder Andy Dirks’ glove, Alexei Ramirez had a two-run single and Alex Rios singled home a run.
Flowers homered in the sixth. Victor Martinez connected for the Tigers in the seventh.
NOTES: White Sox RHP Jesse Crain, out since July 3 with a strained right shoulder, played catch but pitching coach Don Cooper termed it a “slight” setback. Crain did not throw a bullpen session as hoped. ... Leyland said closer Joaquin Benoit, who worked in three of Detroit’s previous four games, was unavailable. ... White Sox 2B Gordon Beckham was out of the lineup for the fifth straight game with a strained left wrist but could play Friday. .... Tigers 2B Omar Infante, on a rehab assignment with Single-A West Michigan after spraining his left ankle July 3, could return to the Tigers on Friday if he feels ready to return. ... LHP Darin Downs, on the DL since July 7, was also scheduled to make a rehab appearance today for West Michigan. ... Jose Quintana (5-2, 3.61) will pitch Friday for the White Sox in Chicago against the Royals’ James Shields (4-7, 3.24). ... The Tigers’ Doug Fister (8-5, 3.90) will face Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels (4-12, 4.16) in Detroit.