Samardzija rises above Trade Deadline buzz

Samardzija rises above Trade Deadline buzz

BOSTON -- Jeff Samardzija took the mound Tuesday night, for the White Sox, and put together another strong outing in the team's 9-4 victory over the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

There was some question as to whether Samardzija would even make this start for the South Siders, with his name coming up numerous times in rumors and speculation as Friday's 3 p.m. CT non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches. But once again, Samardzija didn't let the outside distractions get to him.

"After the last couple of years, I'm pretty confident in what I'm concentrating on and what's important to me," said Samardzija, who threw 73 of his 114 pitches for strikes. "Things are not in my control, and there's really no reason to worry about them. As long as we can keep playing the way we play and up to our standards, it's going to be hard to break anyone up, and we have a great group here and I think we expect a lot of great things out of ourselves."

The right-hander, along with many players across the league in a similar situation, has been mentioned as a possible trade piece because he is set to become a free agent in the offseason.

"He's done a great job," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I know there's a lot of speculation and there is probably a Shark Watch somewhere. He's done a great job of just staying focused on what he's doing. I enjoy having him go out there every five days, that's for sure."

Samardzija allowed four runs on seven hits over eight-plus innings, striking out three. But after giving up three hits in the first two innings, the right-hander didn't allow another hit until the eighth, covering 21 straight batters.

Tuesday's start marked his 10th straight going at least seven innings, which stands as a career best. His next start is scheduled for Sunday, and with the White Sox matching a season-high winning streak at six games, it looks more and more as if Samardzija will be making that trip to the mound against the Yankees at U.S. Cellular Field. But Samardzija doesn't seem worried about the situation.

"I'm not a GM," said a smiling Samardzija. "You want to improve every time out and I think I've done that and now it's just about sustaining where you're at and improving little things."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.