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More rotation woes: Lefty Sale off to bad starts

Chris Sale gave up five runs seven hits Wednesday his second Cactus League start. | Mark Duncan~AP

Chris Sale gave up five runs and seven hits Wednesday in his second Cactus League start. | Mark Duncan~AP

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Updated: April 16, 2012 8:26AM

GLENDALE, Ariz. — So, Chris Sale, how’s your spring training going?

“It’s been awesome, other than the days I pitch, obviously,’’ Sale said.

Well, this problem needs to work itself out in the next few weeks if the White Sox want to leave camp feeling good about the starting rotation.

Making his second Cactus League start Wednesday, Sale allowed five runs — including a three-run home run by Albert Pujols — and seven hits in 41/3 innings and has allowed eight runs in 71/3 innings.

It’s spring. No big deal, right? Don’t tell that to Sale, who’s trying to make the jump from reliever to starter.

“Obviously, you don’t want to kick yourself around the house about it, but at the same time, I’m not going to let it roll off my shoulders,’’ Sale said. “I take this seriously. Whether it’s spring training, Game 7 or a Wiffle-ball game, I have to go out there and get the job done.

“What, I’ve thrown [71/3] innings? Given up eight runs? That’s unacceptable on every level; I don’t care who you are.

‘‘By no means am I going to go home and kick myself in the rear, but I’m disappointed with what happened [Wednesday]. At the same time, there are positives on what happened with this. I had some good innings, some good hitters, but this is not something I go home and pat myself on the back for.’’

The best news for Sale is there’s time. But with every poor showing, there also are more questions about the Sox taking their best reliever out of the bullpen.

Besides the eight runs allowed, Sale has given up 10 hits and a walk. He has fanned six.

Sale also picked up some firsthand experience against Pujols.

“He proved ... that if you’re going inside, you better get it in,’’ Sale said of the Angels’ new big-ticket item.

Not a concern

Sox manager Robin Ventura said reliever Jesse Crain was a scratch against the Angels because of a slight strain to the right oblique.

Ventura said Crain could’ve pitched if needed, but there was no reason to push it.

Thinning the herd

The Sox made seven roster moves and have 51 players left in camp.

Pitcher Gregory Infante was optioned to Class AAA Charlotte, and the Sox reassigned catcher Damaso Espino, pitchers Brian Omogrosso and Jacob Petricka and outfielders Brandon Short and Delwyn Young to minor-league camp.

Infielder Tyler Saladino was added to the major-league camp and got the start against the Angels.

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