White Sox pound Rangers 19-2 as Chris Sale wins No. 10
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com July 3, 2012 10:34PM
White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale picked up his 10th victory of the season Tuesday. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times
Updated: August 5, 2012 6:28AM
White Sox left-hander Chris Sale got his cake and will eat it, too.
Sale will be passed over for his next scheduled start Sunday, the last day before the All-Star break, which frees him up to pitch Tuesday in the All-Star Game.
The Sox and Sale don’t hold the Midsummer Classic in higher regard than their game Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays.
‘‘If it was up to me, I’d be throwing on Sunday,’’ Sale said. ‘‘This team is first.’’
But manager Robin Ventura shut down Sale’s pitch to keep his turn ‘‘pretty quick.’’
‘‘He said, ‘You’re throwing in the All-Star Game,’ and that means the world to me,’’ Sale said.
The move enables the 23-year-old Sale, who has pitched 1022/3
innings, to stay fresh going into the second half and allows him the reward he has earned for being one of the best pitchers in baseball in his first three months as a major-league starter.
He finished the first half with a 10-2 record and 2.19 ERA after
allowing one run in 71/3 innings in the Sox’ 19-2 thrashing Tuesday of the Texas Rangers.
The Sox made it easy on Sale by banging out 10 extra-base hits, a feat tied or topped six times in team history, and won by a margin of 17 or more for the seventh time in franchise history. The last time they did it was in a 17-0 rout of the Cleveland Indians in 1987.
This rout started with home runs by Kevin Youkilis, Adam Dunn and Alex Rios against Roy Oswalt in the first and continued with a three-run shot by A.J. Pierzynski in the fifth.
Pierzynski’s shot delighted the announced crowd of 30,183 (it was a few thousand more on a
season-ticket exchange night), which saw it as ‘‘A.J.’s revenge’’ against Rangers manager Ron Washington, who didn’t choose the Sox catcher for the All-Star Game. Pierzynski took a curtain call.
Ventura removed Sale after 95 pitches with an out in the eighth, allowing him to receive a standing ovation as he walked off, holding his cap high above his head.
‘‘Probably the greatest feeling I’ve experienced in baseball,’’ Sale said.
Pitching in the All-Star Game might top that, but it likely won’t be in a starting capacity if general manager Ken Williams has anything to say about it.
Before the game, Williams was looking for Washington, who will manage the American League, presumably to let him know an inning would be just right for his prized lefty.
‘‘That’s something I don’t foresee happening,’’ Williams said of a possible start for Sale.
The Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander is the logical choice to start.
If Sale pitches an inning, it works out as a side day for him. And with those days off wrapped around it, he doesn’t have to hold back.
Sale still will get an extended rest, and not starting Sunday will keep him away from a second consecutive start on four days of rest. He has made most of his starts on five or six days of rest.
‘‘On the front side and back side of [the All-Star Game], he’s going to get his rest and catch his third wind and hopefully finish strong,’’ Williams said.
Williams was complimentary of Sale’s work to stay healthy. He
cited a day off in which Sale was the only one in the clubhouse
before noon, taking care of his arm a day after he pitched.
Sale likely won’t pitch until a few days after the break in Kansas City, so he’s looking at a 10- to 12-day rest period.
‘‘We’re looking to do what’s best for him and us,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘Chris is a special talent; he really is. We wouldn’t be where we are without him.’’