Chris Sale shines as White Sox beat Yankees 3-2
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com August 6, 2013 10:21PM
Updated: August 6, 2013 11:53PM
All-Star left-hander Chris Sale’s ERA might be a nifty 2.83, but he does have pride. His 6-11 record, including 1-9 in his previous 10 starts, was wearing him out.
Sale reversed his unfortunate trend Tuesday night, leading the White Sox to a 3-2 victory against the New York Yankees. He won at home for the first time since beating the Los Angeles Angels on May 12. Sale improved to 7-11, which are lucky numbers for some.
Don’t get started with Sale about luck.
“He’s got a lot of emotions going on just because of the way it’s been going for him,” manager Robin Ventura said. “As far as you can remember, he hasn’t gotten a whole lot of run support. It becomes harder for him [because] he feels like he has to do everything. I think tonight was a good night. We scored some runs. He did his part, and the offense did enough.”
Slow-footed Paul Konerko ran as hard as he could and beat out a double play that earned a run, Conor Gillaspie singled in a run with two outs and Gordon Beckham and Alejandro De Aza sandwiched doubles around two strikeouts for the Sox’ three runs. That was enough for their second consecutive victory against the Yankees after they had lost 10 in a row.
“That goes to show why he’s the King,” Sale said of Konerko, who beat Robinson Cano’s relay throw in the sixth inning, allowing Alexei Ramirez to score from third. “That might be the fastest I’ve ever seen him run — no offense to him. But he’s a grinder. He may not have the best wheels in the game, but he gave it everything he had right there and it was the difference in the game.”
De Aza’s two-out double in the eighth turned out to be the difference after the Yankees scored a run against closer Addison Reed (27th save) in the ninth.
Sale was amped up, touching 96 and 97 mph on the scoreboard radar gun early on, but he missed the strike zone by wide margins at times. He walked four, tying a season high, and struck out six while giving up five hits and one run.
The presence of the Yankees, with Alex Rodriguez in the lineup, had the always excitable Sale revved up a little more than usual.
“I take the same approach against everybody, but obviously when I see those guys coming to town, I don’t know if I did more, but in the back of your mind, you know, it’s the greatest franchise in all of sports,” Sale said. “You have to bring you’re ‘A game’ for sure.”
Rodriguez, playing his second game of the year after being handed a 211-game suspension (he’s playing while waiting to have baseball’s penalty appealed) walked, was grazed by a Sale pitch, lined out to center and singled against Sale. He was booed by the crowd of 23,826. Sale walked off during the eighth inning to a standing ovation. He tipped his cap.
“Every situation you’re in is a learning experience, good, bad or indifferent,” he said of having to pitch with the worst run support of any pitcher in the American League. “Each outing you learn something, and I learned a lot last year having success, and then facing some adversity this year. You take the good with the bad through it all.”
The only run scored against Sale was in the first inning, when Alfonso Soriano scored all the way from second base on a wild pitch that catcher Josh Phegley couldn’t locate. Soriano reached first when shortstop Ramirez’s relay throw on an attempted double play pulled Konerko off first. Then he stole second. It’s been that kind of year for Sale.
“Your experience of what you go through in your career, some stuff makes you better,” Ventura said. “He’ll understand that a little bit more as he goes along with his career. Nobody wants to have to go through anything like this, but it’s stuff he’ll be able to keep with him as his own experience and be able to get through maybe a tougher time.”
Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda (10-7, 2.45 ERA) gave up a season-high nine hits and threw a season-high 116 pitches.