|Chi. White Sox (33-26) «||0||0||0||0||5||1||0||4||x||10||17||0|
"Obviously we have all the confidence in the world. We know if we score him a few runs, then normally it's going to be good enough," slugger Adam Dunn said.
That's what happened again on Saturday when Sale pitched eight shutout innings and Dunn had a grand slam in a 17-hit attack that produced a 10-1 victory against the Houston Astros.
Sale (8-2) gave up four singles, struck out seven and walked none while lowering his AL-leading ERA to 2.05 during his fifth straight victory.
"I'm not one to really look at my stats or anything like that. It really doesn't do anything for you," the 6-foot-6 Sale said. "You got a five [ERA] or a one and you still got to go out there and pitch and get outs."
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Sale was sent to the bullpen for one game in May after there was concern about some arm soreness. But he had a candid and strong conversation with general manager Ken Williams and convinced the team he should return to the rotation.
"It was kind of crazy there," Sale said. "But everything got figured out and I'm trying to move forward from that."
Sale gave the White Sox a momentary scare in the sixth when he was struck by a comebacker from Jed Lowrie. The ball hit him on the bottom of the left foot, then caught him on the calf. But he was not injured and stayed in the game.
"That ball was smoked. Got to get out of the way of it," he said. "It was kind of comical after the panic went away."
At age 23, Sale is emerging as Chicago's stopper. In his two previous outings, he pitched his first complete game against Seattle and struck out 15 against Tampa Bay.
"He's tough to hit against because he has a lot of different things he can throw. I think a lot of people believe he just goes out and throws 98, 99, that's not what he does," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "He actually pitches, hits corners, creates angles and things like that that make him extremely tough."
Gordon Beckham had three RBI and Alejandro De Aza finished with four hits for the White Sox, who sent 10 batters to the plate during a five-run fifth that chased Houston starter Jordan Lyles (1-2). Chicago finished with 17 hits -- 16 singles and Dunn's 19th homer, a bases-loaded shot off Rhiner Cruz in the eighth for his 12th career grand slam.
"I just let the fifth inning blow up on me," Lyles said, refusing to blame the poor fielding that jumped started the inning. "I didn't make pitches. I put guys on base that I shouldn't have."
Eduardo Escobar worked a walk to load the bases, De Aza delivered an RBI single, and Beckham followed with a two-run single to right as Escobar made a nice slide around catcher Chris Snyder to score the third run. Dunn hit a sacrifice fly and, after a walk to Paul Konerko, Alex Rios had another RBI single to finish Lyles.
Beckham added an RBI single in the sixth.
"You just can't give a good hitting team like that extra outs," Houston manager Brad Mills said.
The 21-year-old Lyles allowed seven hits and five runs, four earned, with three walks in his 4 1/3 innings. He is now 0-5 in 14 road games, including 12 starts.
Lowrie hit his 12th homer leading off the ninth against Zach Stewart.
|Chris Sale gets plenty of run support, and does his part with eight innings of four-hit ball while striking out seven. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Jose Altuve, 2B||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.325|
|Brian Bixler, LF||4||0||1||0||0||2||2||.167|
|Jed Lowrie, SS||4||1||2||1||0||1||1||.297|
|J.D. Martinez, DH||4||0||1||0||0||2||3||.235|
|Justin Maxwell, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.222|
|Brett Wallace, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.381|
|Chris Snyder, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.189|
|Matt Downs, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.162|
|Brian Bogusevic, RF||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.223|
|HR - Jed Lowrie (12, Stewart)|
|RBI - Jed Lowrie (28)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|E - Jose Altuve (8, Throwing), Matt Downs (2, Throwing)|
|Jordan Lyles (L,1-2)||4.1||7||5||4||3||0||0||5.40|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jordan Lyles 83-49, Xavier Cedeno 21-14, David Carpenter 20-14, Rhiner Cruz 24-19, Brandon Lyon 6-3|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jordan Lyles 7-6, Xavier Cedeno 1-1, David Carpenter 2-0, Rhiner Cruz 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Jordan Lyles 23, Xavier Cedeno 7, David Carpenter 5, Rhiner Cruz 8, Brandon Lyon 1|
|Chicago White Sox|
|Alejandro De Aza, CF||5||2||4||1||0||0||0||.310|
|Gordon Beckham, 2B||5||2||3||3||0||0||0||.237|
|Adam Dunn, DH||4||1||2||5||0||1||2||.226|
|Paul Konerko, 1B||2||0||1||0||2||0||1||.363|
|Brent Lillibridge, 1B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.189|
|Alex Rios, RF||5||0||2||1||0||0||4||.300|
|A.J. Pierzynski, C||5||0||0||0||0||2||4||.288|
|Alexei Ramirez, SS||5||1||2||0||0||0||2||.222|
|Jordan Danks, LF||5||2||2||0||0||2||3||.429|
|Eduardo Escobar, 3B||3||2||1||0||1||0||1||.188|
|HR - Adam Dunn (19, Cruz)|
|SF - Adam Dunn (2)|
|RBI - Alejandro De Aza (26), Gordon Beckham 3 (25), Adam Dunn 5 (45), Alex Rios (32)|
|SB - Jordan Danks (1, 2nd base off Cedeno/Snyder)|
|CS - Alejandro De Aza (5, 2nd base by Lyles/Snyder)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|Chicago White Sox|
|Chris Sale (W,8-2)||8||4||0||0||0||7||0||2.05|
|HBP - Altuve (by Chris Sale)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chris Sale 101-70, Zach Stewart 24-15|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Sale 7-10|
|Batters Faced - Chris Sale 29, Zach Stewart 5|
|Attendance - 22880|
|Game Time - 2:44|
|Temperature - 87|
|Umpires - Home - Laz Diaz, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Paul Schrieber, Third Base - Lance Barrett|