Peavy, A.J. back with (Red) Sox
It's cold, 37 degrees about an hour from first pitch, but there's no rain (or snow), so the White Sox and Red Sox are going to play ball tonight at U.S. Cellular Field.
Lot of stuff happening:
-It's Jackie Robinson Day, marking the 67th anniversary of the former Brooklyn Dodgers great breaking baseball's color barrier. Players on both teams will wear Robinson's No. 42 tonight.
-Two familiar faces are in Boston's clubhouse.
Former White Sox starter Jake Peavy gets the start for the Red Sox tonight, and popular catcher A.J. Pierzynski will be behind the plate for Boston.
Traded to the Red Sox last July, Peavy faced the White Sox at Fenway Park on Aug. 31 and got the win while allowing 2 runs in 7 innings. Peavy is 0-0 with a 2.13 ERA in 2 starts this year. He opposes Erik Johnson (0-1, 9.58), who makes his first home start after struggling at Kansas City and Colorado.
After coming up from Class AAA Charlotte last September, Johnson was 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 3 starts at the Cell.
With the White Sox' other right-handed starter, Felipe Paulino, also struggling, tonight would be a good time for Johnson to deliver a solid outing.
-He'll wear No. 42 tonight in honor of Jackie Robinson, but Pierzynski has been wearing No. 40 with Boston. That used to be White Sox broadcaster Ken "Hawk" Harrelson's number.
"When I came over to the Red Sox, they asked me what jersey number I wanted," Pierzynski said. "Obviously, I was 12 for a long time and I couldn't have 12 because (Mike) Napoli had 12. If he wouldn't have signed back, I would have taken that. But I was kind of half joking with (Paul) Konerko and (White Sox media relations director Bob) Beghtol and a couple of other guys, they were like you can do what your dad did and (wear) his number. They say (Harrelson) is my dad. And I thought 'You know that's not a bad idea.' So I texted Hawk and asked him what number he was and he said 40. So I just went with it."
-White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez enters tonight's game leading the American League with a .420 batting average, 1.143 OPS and 21 hits. He's third with 12 RBI and also has 3 homer runs, including Sunday's 2-run winning shot in the bottom of the ninth against the Indians.
A notoriously slow starter, Ramirez has obviously been red-hot this April.
"It's just developed,” Ramirez said through a translator. “I think if one prepares himself and gets himself ready and plays with a passion, you're going to have good things happen. This has been a great start for me, but I can't say there's one thing or the other. I'm just thankful that I'm being blessed that I started out this way."
Here are tonight’s lineups:
Sizemore – 7
Bogaerts – 6
Ortiz – DH
Napoli – 3
Nava – 9
Pierzynski – 2
Roberts – 5
Bradley Jr. – 8
Herrera – 4
Eaton – 8
Semien – 4
Gillaspie – 5
Abreu – 3
Dunn – DH
Viciedo – 9
De Aza – 7
Ramirez – 6
Flowers – 2