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White Sox’ Chris Sale looking just about complete

Chris Sale

Chris Sale

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Updated: April 23, 2013 2:30PM



GLENDALE, Ariz. — Chris Sale had the type of outing he needed: enough pitches, only four hits allowed over seven innings and a healthy feeling when it was over.

Danks threw 75 pitches in the White Sox’ 8-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers after giving up three runs — two on solo homers, including an inside-the-park job to Ryan Braun in the first inning. When he was finished, he threw 25 more pitches in the bullpen. He’ll make one more start before taking the ball on Opening Day, April 1.

‘‘Regular season, that was close to a complete game right there,’’ Sale said. ‘‘Pitch count was down — that’s what you shoot for. I’m not going to be as sore the next day and will bounce back a little quicker.’’

Sale is eager to play games for keeps, and he feels strong with a week left in camp.

‘‘So far, so good, knock on wood,’’ he said. ‘‘I feel loose, and I feel like my arm is bouncing back the way I want it to. With the programs we have here, it helps us out. I follow that, lean on these guys and go out there every fifth day.’’

Danks on going
to the minors

Having John Danks in the rotation was going to be the Sox’ ace in the hole. Having their 2012 Opening Day starter on board was a significant upgrade, but it will have to wait until the $65 million left-hander gets back to full strength pitching in minor-league games.

‘‘I feel like we’re on the right track to get back to where I was, which is the goal,’’ Danks said Thursday ‘‘I don’t have any reason not to believe that. We’re making an improvement each time out, and that’s all I can really ask for.’’

Danks, who had surgery on his shoulder in August to repair a capsular tear and minor debridement of the rotator cuff and biceps, said he understands the decision to have him open the season on the disabled list.

‘‘With the way I’ve thrown so far [16.34 ERA over four spring starts], I get it,’’ he said.

‘‘I feel like we’ve been on the right track. We’re still on the right track. We’re getting stronger and better each time. Obviously, the results haven’t been there, but there’s different stuff that I’ve noticed from each start that’s improving. I just have to stay the course.’’

Plan B

Dylan Axelrod, the heir apparent to Danks’ rotation spot, will start against the Kansas City Royals on Sunday in Glendale.

‘‘You get an opportunity, there’s no telling what can come from that,’’ Axelrod said. ‘‘I’ll prepare like I’d be there all season.’’

Manager Robin Ventura said the likely order in the rotation will be Sale, Jake Peavy, Gavin Floyd, Jose Quintana and the fifth starter.

The lineup

With Alex Rios and Alejandro De Aza back from playing in the World Baseball Classic, Ventura used a lineup that could play on Opening Day, with the exception of Tyler Flowers not catching: De Aza CF, Jeff Keppinger 3B, Rios RF, Adam Dunn DH, Paul Konerko 1B, Dayan Viciedo LF, Alexei Ramirez SS, Hector Gimenez C, Gordon Beckham 2B and Sale P.



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