|Chi. White Sox (31-23) «||0||1||1||2||0||0||0||0||x||4||9||0|
Sale pitched a five-hitter for his first major league complete game and Chicago beat the Seattle Mariners 4-2 Sunday for its 10th win in 11 tries.
Sale (7-2) struck out eight and walked two. It was his 10th start this year after pitching in relief for Chicago during the last two seasons.
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Sale allowed Ventura to rest his entire bullpen after Chicago used all seven relievers in Saturday's taxing 12-inning loss. He also lowered his AL-leading ERA from 2.34 to 2.29.
Sale entered the ninth with 100 pitches. He allowed a leadoff single by Jesus Montero, but got Justin Smoak to hit into a double play. Dustin Ackley followed with a single and Sale finished the game off by getting Miguel Olivo to strike out after a nine-pitch at-bat. He struck out Olivo on his 119th pitch.
"I asked him to go back out. He said, `Yeah, you got to be efficient,"' Sale said, recalling his talk with Ventura. "I wasn't as efficient as I needed to be, I'm just thankful for him to give me that opportunity to go back out there and finish the game."
In Sale's previous start, he struck out 15 in 7 1/3 innings at Tampa Bay.
"Obviously you want to go out there and be good every time out, but I don't think there was any added pressure after [the 15-strikeout game]. I take the ball every day with the same mindset," Sale said.
Alex Rios drove in two runs for the AL Central leaders.
The 23-year-old lanky left-hander had to battle Olivo for the final out. Earlier in the game, Olivo tagged Sale for a long two-run homer.
"It was tough. Obviously the last hitter of the game, you're just bearing down. He got me early. I was just really trying to keep the ball down to him," Sale said.
Sale continues to impress Ventura.
"Again, what Chris did today was big in a lot of ways," he said. The bullpen has "been used a lot in the stretch. It's just nice to get some rest."
Kevin Millwood (3-5) was beset by control problems. He allowed four runs and seven hits in four innings. He struck out four but walked five.
"He was just missing. He didn't quite have the command he typically has. He wasn't way off. When he was trying to get back, he tried to do a bit much from time to time. He was right there, he was just missing," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.
Trailing 2-0 with the bases loaded and two outs in the White Sox second, Brent Lillibridge took a 3-2 pitch that was just off the outside corner to cut the Seattle lead to 2-1. Millwood prevented further damage by getting Gordon Beckham to ground out.
"They were close, but they were balls. Once again, I wasn't locating my fastball very well. For the most part, I was able to keep the ball on the ground, but they found some holes. I walked too many guys. Just wasn't able to make pitches when I needed to," Millwood said.
The White Sox took the lead in the fourth. Flowers and Eduardo Escobar singled and Beckham hit an RBI single.
With two outs, Rios hit a hard grounder that ricocheted off Millwood's foot. Shortstop Brendan Ryan fielded the ball and made an off-balance throw that was too late to get Rios, allowing another run.
|Not a bad week for Chris Sale. One start after striking out 15 batters, the lefty notches his first CG in the majors. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Ichiro Suzuki, RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.267|
|Chone Figgins, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.181|
|Jesus Montero, C||4||0||2||0||0||1||0||.259|
|Justin Smoak, 1B||2||1||0||0||2||0||2||.238|
|Dustin Ackley, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||2||3||.248|
|Miguel Olivo, DH||4||1||1||2||0||2||2||.202|
|Michael Saunders, CF||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.257|
|Alex Liddi, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||.240|
|Brendan Ryan, SS||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.171|
|2B - Michael Saunders (14, Sale)|
|HR - Miguel Olivo (4, Sale)|
|RBI - Miguel Olivo 2 (11)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|DP - Ackley-Ryan-Smoak|
|Kevin Millwood (L,3-5)||4||7||4||4||5||4||0||3.90|
|IBB - Dunn by Kevin Millwood|
|HBP - Viciedo (by Kevin Millwood)|
|WP - Kevin Millwood (3)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Millwood 95-58, Stephen Pryor 17-12, Lucas Luetge 37-20, Shawn Kelley 16-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Millwood 5-2, Stephen Pryor 1-0, Lucas Luetge 2-4|
|Batters Faced - Kevin Millwood 24, Stephen Pryor 4, Lucas Luetge 9, Shawn Kelley 3|
|Chicago White Sox|
|Brent Lillibridge, CF||4||0||1||1||1||2||5||.208|
|Gordon Beckham, 2B||5||0||1||1||0||1||3||.237|
|Adam Dunn, 1B||3||1||0||0||2||1||1||.222|
|Dayan Viciedo, DH||3||0||0||0||1||1||4||.277|
|Alex Rios, RF||4||0||2||2||0||0||1||.289|
|Kosuke Fukudome, LF||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||.171|
|Orlando Hudson, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||1||5||.205|
|Alexei Ramirez, SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.224|
|Tyler Flowers, C||4||1||2||0||0||2||2||.229|
|Eduardo Escobar, 3B-LF||2||1||2||0||2||0||0||.178|
|RBI - Brent Lillibridge (2), Gordon Beckham (22), Alex Rios 2 (28)|
|2-OUT RBI - Brent Lillibridge (1), Alex Rios (7)|
|Team LOB - 12|
|DP - Hudson-Beckham-Dunn|
|Chicago White Sox|
|Chris Sale (W,7-2)||9||5||2||2||2||8||1||2.30|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chris Sale 119-81|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Sale 7-11|
|Batters Faced - Chris Sale 33|
|Attendance - 23062|
|Game Time - 2:45|
|Temperature - 75|
|Umpires - Home - Joe West, First Base - Sam Holbrook, Second Base - Andy Fletcher, Third Base - Rob Drake|