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Sale outduels Shields in White Sox’ 5-1 win

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Updated: April 9, 2014 11:12PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It doesn’t take much for Chris Sale’s motor to reach high. With a matchup against the Royals’ James Shields and the White Sox needing to stop a three-game losing streak, Sale was revved up more than usual Sunday.

‘‘There was an energy to him, the way he was throwing and coming off the mound,’’ Sox manager Robin Ventura said after watching Sale (2-0) lead the way with eight scoreless innings in a 5-1 victory. ‘‘Big pitchers do that when you face up against another guy like Shields. There is a little extra
incentive you get against a guy like him. Both of them had it today. I’m glad Chris came out on top.’’

Sale stepped up for teammate Jose Abreu when he threw an
inside pitch to Omar Infante leading off the sixth inning. Infante went down to get out of the way after Shields had hit Abreu on the left arm in the fifth, possibly as payback for inadvertently stepping on Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer’s foot on a close play at first in the fourth. Both benches were warned by umpire Greg Gibson
after Sale’s pitch to Infante.

‘‘Leaking front side, flying open,’’ Sale said. ‘‘Ball cut a little bit, so [stuff] happens.’’

Sale allowed four hits, struck out six and walked one to lower his ERA to 1.76. Ventura said he would have sent Sale out for the ninth — even after 111 pitches — had the Sox not extended their lead from 1-0 to 5-0 with four runs in the top of the inning.

‘‘I was just trying to use everything I had and keep my team in it,’’ Sale said. ‘‘You come into this stadium and you face this team, you know what you’re getting. . . . So just kind of crank it up a little bit and get it going.’’

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