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CWS@CHC: Peavy shuts down the Cubs for 6 1/3 innings

What's the best way to stop a club on an eight-game winning streak that will be sending a former Cy Young Award winner to the mound?

Counter with your own former Cy Young Award winner.

That's what the Mariners will do when they send Felix Hernandez to the bump on Friday to face the White Sox Jake Peavy in a battle of right-handers.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said the biggest difference during his club's recent hot streak has been the overall run production. During the eight-game stretch, the White Sox have scored 65 runs, including four games with at least nine.

"Early in the year, we weren't really getting those runs across," Ventura said. "Now, you have a chance and you feel like you're going to get those runs across. It helps out everything. It helps out the pitching. It helps out the defense, where guys are a little bit more lively. It's just easier on every aspect of the game."

Left fielder Dayan Viciedo has been especially hot, hitting .552 with four homers and 13 RBIs in his last seven games.

But Viciedo and the rest of that white-hot offense will get a major test in facing the 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner Hernandez, who is 4-4 with a 3.17 ERA this season. His six-inning stint against the Angels in his last outing was his second-shortest this year. It also mercifully ended what is consistently the worst month of his career. Hernandez is 10-20 with a 4.68 ERA in 39 career starts in May.

"[I] tip my hat to those guys, because [they] were pretty good pitches," said Hernandez, who allowed five runs, four coming on an Alberto Callaspo grand slam. "The grand slam, it was just up and in. He just pulled his hands and hit it."

Peavy, the 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner for San Diego, was also hit hard his last time out, as he allowed a season-high seven runs against the Indians. He picked up the win nonetheless, improving to 6-1. 

Mariners: League working in non-closer role
On Monday, Brandon League made his first relief appearance for Seattle since his demotion from the closer's role. The right-hander pitched a scoreless eighth inning in a 4-2 loss to the Rangers.

Manager Eric Wedge plans to continue using League in a similar fashion, and may even give him longer stints when possible. League has blown four saves this season.

"I thought it was good to get him out there. I thought he did OK," Wedge said. "There are a couple things he's working on, and to have the opportunity to go out there in non-save situations is going to help him." 

• The Mariners scored a season-high 21 runs in their win on Wednesday against the Rangers. It was the second-most in club history and the third time they have scored 20 runs or more. The franchise record is 22 runs, which they did April 29, 1999, against the Tigers.

• Seattle has played the most road games in the Majors this season, with 31.

White Sox: Morel begins rehab outing
• Third baseman Brent Morel is set to begin his rehab assignment on Wednesday night with Triple-A Charlotte. His return will give Ventura plenty of options to choose from in a deep infield.

Morel was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 22 with a lumbar back strain. The key, Ventura said, is not rushing Morel back -- a task made easier with the acquisition of Orlando Hudson.

"We want to see that, and that's what we're looking for when he goes down and starts playing again," Ventura said. "We want to make sure that when he comes back, he's ready to go and not just trying to suck it up to be ready to play."

• Friday's game marks the start of a nine-game homestand for the White Sox. After three against the Mariners, they will face the Blue Jays and Astros at U.S. Cellular Field.

• In Wednesday's win over Tampa Bay, the White Sox were held without a homer for the first time in their last 16 games.

Worth noting
• Of the six White Sox hitters who have faced Hernandez at least 10 times, none has a batting average above .300. First baseman Paul Konerko has fared the best against Hernandez, hitting .292 with two homers in 24 at-bats.

• Peavy faced Seattle once last year, picking up the win after allowing two runs in six innings. He is 5-1 with a 2.12 ERA in seven career starts against the Mariners.

• The first time the White Sox and Mariners met, Chicago pulled off a sweep of a three-game set in April. Just one victory in this weekend's series would give the White Sox their third straight season-series victory over Seattle.

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