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MIN@CWS: Peavy strikes out nine over seven strong

The White Sox like close games.

They just don't love them.

Chicago is among Major League leaders in one-run games this year with 11, but its 5-6 record in those games leaves plenty of room for improvement.

"You want them to be able to score more runs," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "When you win a lot of games and you feel like you're going to win every day, you're scoring about five or six runs and the guys are holding them under that. It's tough to win if you're only scoring one or two runs."

It will be up to White Sox starter Jake Peavy to keep the Rays in check on Friday after Chris Sale did so Thursday in Chicago's 5-2 victory. The veteran deserved to win in his last outing but had to settle for a no-decision in a 10-inning loss to the Twins. The right-hander struck out nine in seven innings. He has racked up 20 strikeouts in his last 14 innings.

"It was cold, getting colder as the game went on. Hard to stay loose, and I didn't have very good stuff," Peavy said. "Ball was moving a little bit, but the command was not what you'd expect it to be or want it to be. But we battled. We had a chance to win but just couldn't quite finish it there."

Taking the hill for the Rays will be Roberto Hernandez, who picked up his first win since 2011 when he defeated the A's on Sunday. The former All-Star allowed one run on three hits and struck out seven in six innings.

He cruised through the first three innings but had to work himself out of a few jams in the second half of his start.

"I think you're going to see better things out of him, because the stuff is really, really good," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Now, it's just a matter of putting the whole thing together -- delivery to the plate -- where he can become more consistent."

Rays: Escobar likely out again
• Yunel Escobar remains day to day after exiting Wednesday's game in the sixth inning with right hamstring tightness. He'll likely miss Friday's game as well.

"We'll see how this will play out," Maddon said. "I don't anticipate anything awful, but the guy does go pretty hard every day."

• Luke Scott is expected to be in the lineup as the designated hitter in his second game on rehab assignment with Class A Charlotte.

White Sox: Three is a magic number
• Nineteen of the club's 21 games this season have been decided by three runs or fewer.

• The White Sox are 4-6 against the American League Central this season. They finished 37-35 against the division last season.

Worth noting
• Chicago White Sox broadcaster Ed Farmer, along with pitchers Matt Lindstrom and Nate Jones, will join Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White to promote the need for organ and tissue donation by signing autographs on Friday at the James R. Thompson Center starting for an hour starting at noon CT.

• The White Sox will hold the first of six "Sox Social Day" (#SoxSocial) events on Sunday. Fans who purchase tickets for #SoxSocial Day at whitesox.com/soxsocial will receive a gift bag to be distributed at the #SoxSocial table near Section 107.

• Rays starting pitchers have worked at least five innings in every game this season.

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