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White Sox waste Chris Sale’s gem, fall to Brewers in 10

Chris Sale’s eight-inning gem was overshadowed by performance Brewers starter Zack Greinke. | Al Podgorski~Sun-Times

Chris Sale’s eight-inning gem was overshadowed by the performance of Brewers starter Zack Greinke. | Al Podgorski~Sun-Times

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Updated: July 24, 2012 9:53AM

Pitching has become a sore subject for the White Sox, even with a flawless performance such as Chris Sale’s on Friday.

Eight scoreless innings from the Sox’ ace lefty went for naught against the Milwaukee Brewers and their ace, Zack Greinke, in a 1-0, 10-inning loss at U.S. Cellular Field.

The defeat, the fifth in six extra-inning games and the seventh in the last nine overall for the struggling Sox, dropped them 11/2 games behind the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central.

‘‘You’re looking at two guys who can pitch,’’ manager Robin Ventura said of Sale and Greinke (8-2), who allowed only three singles in nine innings.

The Brewers scored the only run in the 10th off Jesse Crain (1-1), who gave up a leadoff double to ex-Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez. Pinch runner Nyjer Morgan advanced on a wild pitch and scored when Rickie Weeks singled past a drawn-in infield.

‘‘You’d like to leave [Sale] in there for a long time,’’ Ventura said of lifting Sale after 107 pitches. ‘‘But we’re looking at the big picture with him.’’

Extra care for the first-year starter might be more important now with Philip Humber going on the disabled list Friday with an elbow strain, joining John Danks (shoulder).

‘‘Obviously, not having Phil is a big blow, but short rest or long rest, you still have a job to do,’’ Sale said. ‘‘It doesn’t matter who you’re facing. You obviously want to bring the best for your team. [Greinke’s] a great pitcher. He’s tough on everyone. We got beat, simple as that.’’

Greinke, the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner, is an old Sox foe who spent his first seven seasons with the Kansas City Royals. But he pitched his best game against the Sox on Friday in front of a crowd of 22,798.

The Sox didn’t get a hit until Alex Rios singled to open the fifth. He was quickly erased on a double play when A.J. Pierzynski lined out to first baseman Corey Hart, who slapped his glove on first to double up Rios.

Gordon Beckham singled to lead off the second but was eliminated in an inning-ending double play. Pierzynski singled in the eighth but also fell victim to an inning-ending double play.

The Brewers had four hits off Sale, including singles by Ryan Braun and Marlin Maldonado, a double by Weeks in the fifth and a double by Ramirez in the seventh.

The loss was the third 1-0 setback for the Sox this season and the seventh time they were shut out.

The Sox are hitting .202 with 26 runs scored in their last nine games.

‘‘There’ll be a period of time you go through as a team, as an offense, that it just doesn’t work for a little while,’’ Ventura said.

There were defensive gems for both teams, with the Brewers turning three double plays and Sox third baseman Orlando Hudson making two fine plays in the ninth behind Addison Reed.

The game marked the first nine-inning scoreless duel for the Sox since July 21, 2010, at Seattle. That game was scoreless through 10 before the Sox lost 2-1 in 11 innings.

The Sox are 0-3 in extra-inning home games and 17-21 overall at home.

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