|Chi. White Sox (62-51) «||0||0||1||0||0||5||1||0||x||7||11||0|
CHICAGO -- Chris Sale got into trouble in the fifth inning, allowing back-to-back, two-out singles against the Oakland Athletics. Then the Chicago White Sox left-hander escaped the jam with his 10th strikeout.
Sale struck out 11 in 6 2/3 innings, A.J. Pierzynski had a two-run home run in a five-run sixth inning, and the White Sox beat the A's 7-3 on Sunday.
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Sale (14-3) reached double digits in strikeouts for the third time this season. He had 10 strikeouts through the first five innings, allowed two runs on solo homers, and walked none.
The White Sox lead the Detroit Tigers by two games in the AL Central.
"He was throwing a little harder today than he has in the past few outings," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. "He was able to dial it up whenever he needed it and still was sharp with his slider, too."
Oakland starter Bartolo Colon (9-9) allowed six runs -- five earned -- and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out two and walked two. With the game tied 1-1 in the sixth, Pierzynski's 23rd homer put the White Sox up 3-1.
Dewayne Wise, in his first start with Chicago this season, added an RBI single. After A's left fielder Yoenis Cespedes committed an error, and Colon issued an intentional walk, Gordon Beckham delivered a bases-loaded, two-run single to make it 6-1.
The A's struggled defensively, making three errors and failing to cover home in the seventh when the White Sox added their final run.
"They're going to give you something, you're going to go ahead and take it," Ventura said. "A.J. is heads up and he kept going. There was nobody there. Usually guys rotate around."
Sale improved to 7-2 with a 1.80 ERA at U.S. Cellular Field this season.
"One thing he does great, he changes speeds tremendously," Pierzynski said. "One can be 95 [mph] and the next can get be 86. That's why he gets a lot of groundballs. That's why he gets a lot of popups because guys are constantly off balance because of his stuff and his ability to change speeds."
Chicago took a 1-0 lead on Adam Dunn's sacrifice fly in the third. The A's hit back-to-back, two-out singles in the fifth, but Sale escaped the jam with his 10th strikeout.
Sale was checked in the fifth inning after he twisted his left knee slipping on the infield grass while trying to field an infield single.
After warmup tosses, he remained in the game.
"Everything was fine," Sale said. "It was just something crazy, foot went one way, knee went the other. Kind of nervous at first, and once I got around and moving on it, everything was fine."
Pennington made two errors, but also had two singles against Sale.
"It wasn't our best defensive day," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "The play was embarrassing, obviously, when Pierzynski went all the way around. [Catcher Norris is] trying to cover third when the third baseman and shortstop converge.
"You either have to read that and get back or the pitcher has to rotate around and get home. We didn't cover that very well, so that doesn't sit very well with anybody."
|A.J. Pierzynski's two-run homer highlights a five-run sixth inning in the White Sox's victory against the A's. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Coco Crisp, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.253|
|Jonny Gomes, DH||4||1||1||1||0||1||0||.259|
|Josh Reddick, RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.253|
|Yoenis Cespedes, LF||4||0||1||0||0||2||1||.306|
|Chris Carter, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.272|
|Derek Norris, C||4||1||1||1||0||2||0||.211|
|Adam Rosales, 3B||4||1||2||1||0||1||0||.222|
|Cliff Pennington, SS||4||0||2||0||0||1||0||.203|
|Jemile Weeks, 2B||3||0||1||0||0||2||2||.220|
|HR - Jonny Gomes (14, Sale), Derek Norris (5, Reed), Adam Rosales (2, Sale)|
|RBI - Jonny Gomes (35), Derek Norris (19), Adam Rosales (7)|
|CS - Cliff Pennington (5, 2nd base by Sale/Pierzynski)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|Outfield Assists - Yoenis Cespedes 1|
|E - Yoenis Cespedes (2, Throwing), Cliff Pennington 2 (9, Throwing)|
|Bartolo Colon (L,9-9)||5.2||9||6||5||2||2||1||3.55|
|IBB - De Aza by Bartolo Colon|
|Pitches-Strikes - Bartolo Colon 93-59, Jerry Blevins 10-5, Evan Scribner 29-19|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bartolo Colon 8-8, Jerry Blevins 1-0, Evan Scribner 4-1|
|Batters Faced - Bartolo Colon 29, Jerry Blevins 3, Evan Scribner 7|
|Chicago White Sox|
|Alejandro De Aza, CF||3||1||0||0||2||1||0||.286|
|Gordon Beckham, 2B||5||0||1||2||0||0||0||.228|
|Adam Dunn, 1B||3||0||0||1||1||1||1||.203|
|Alex Rios, RF||4||1||3||0||0||0||4||.318|
|A.J. Pierzynski, C||4||2||2||2||0||0||2||.299|
|Alexei Ramirez, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.262|
|Dayan Viciedo, DH||4||1||2||0||0||1||0||.249|
|Dewayne Wise, LF||4||1||2||1||0||0||1||.277|
|Ray Olmedo, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||0||1||.286|
|2B - Alex Rios (28, Colon), Dayan Viciedo (12, Colon)|
|HR - A.J. Pierzynski (23, Colon)|
|SF - Adam Dunn (4)|
|RBI - Gordon Beckham 2 (42), Adam Dunn (76), A.J. Pierzynski 2 (67), Dewayne Wise (9)|
|2-OUT RBI - Gordon Beckham 2 (12), Dewayne Wise (4)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Chicago White Sox|
|Chris Sale (W,14-3)||6.2||6||2||2||0||11||2||2.60|
|WP - Chris Sale (6)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chris Sale 114-79, Nate Jones 26-18, Addison Reed 15-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Sale 5-4, Nate Jones 1-3, Addison Reed 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Chris Sale 26, Nate Jones 5, Addison Reed 4|
|Attendance - 25106|
|Game Time - 2:53|
|Temperature - 75|
|Umpires - Home - Tim Welke, First Base - Todd Tichenor, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Bob Davidson|