CHICAGO -- Chris Sale made history, left the mound at U.S. Cellular Field for the final time in 2015 to an ovation and reminded Chicago White Sox fans for seven innings why there's hope for next season.
Sale, who'd lost his previous four outings, picked up the win in Chicago's 2-1 victory against the Detroit Tigers. He threw seven-plus innings, struck out seven and placed his name atop one of the White Sox's oldest single-season records by finishing the season with 274 strikeouts.
"It's awesome," said Sale, whose total surpassed the previous high of 269 strikeouts set in 1908 by Ed Walsh. "It's definitely something I appreciate. It hasn't quite set in yet, but I know what it means, I know what it is and I'm very thankful for that and appreciative of it."
Right-hander Alfredo Simon started and took the loss for the Tigers (73-86), which was his third straight loss despite allowing only two runs in eight innings.
Rookie Jefry Marte provided the lone Detroit run with a solo homer off Sale in the second inning, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead, but the White Sox's ace settled into a groove soon thereafter.
Only four Detroit players got hits off Sale, led by Josh Wilson (2-for-3), and the Tigers were hitless against relievers Matt Albers and Robertson.
Sale's historic moment happened early. Needing three strikeouts to pass Walsh's mark, the lanky lefty tied the White Sox legend with two strikeouts in the first and set the new mark in his second trip to the mound.
Following Marte's homer to start the second, Sale fanned Detroit catcher James McCann looking to set the new franchise mark for single-season strikeouts. Sale, who threw an Eephus pitch for a ball with the count 1-2, eventually got McCann on a slider.
His accomplishment was noted on the video boards in the outfield concourse and the smattering of fans in attendance gave him an ovation. Asked what went through his mind afterward, Sale smiled.
"'Man, I wish that Eephus fell in there for a strike,'" he said. "There was a lot of stuff going on. I felt like I couldn't really pitch until I got (the record), and then after that I kind of settled in. It was fun. It was a great experience and something I'll never forget."
As for the Eephus pitch, Sale gave credit where it was due. Teammate Adam LaRoche threw one earlier this season when getting an inning of mop-up duty and LaRoche's father, Dave LaRoche, made the pitch famous as a pitcher in the early 1980s, calling it the "LaLob."
"It was just something fun," Sale said. "Talking with the whole LaRoche squad about it, it was just something that came into my mind. I was like, 'You know what? If there's nobody on base and I get a guy with two strikes, let's flip one in there for fun, because the worse that's going to happen is I give up a homer.' And I did that (against Marte), so I got that out of the way. It's just something funny, something to kind of take your mind away from it."
Sale's teammates made the night a little more special in the third, handing him a 2-1 lead following a two-run double by Eaton. Sale and the White Sox's bullpen took it from there.
"He's a very good pitcher," said Tigers shortstop Dixon Machado, who went 1-for-3. "The way that he throws, and he was down in the zone throwing a fastball for strikes. Pitchers who can throw hard and throw strikes, they're really hard to hit."
NOTES: White Sox general manager Rick Hahn announced Friday that manager Robin Ventura is "expected" to be back as manager in 2016. Hahn also confirmed reports that bench coach Mark Parent would not return, and said assistant hitting coach Harold Baines was granted his request for a new position as a team ambassador. Hahn did not set a specific timetable for filling the coaching vacancies. ... According to The Score, 670-AM radio station, White Sox C Tyler Flowers will undergo knee surgery Oct. 9 to take care of damaged cartilage in his right knee. Flowers started Friday. ... Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera and DH Victor Martinez did not play Friday. Martinez is day-to-day with a left quadriceps strain, and Cabrera just got a day off from manager Brad Ausmus. Cabrera is expected to play Saturday.