Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox roll over New York Yankees

By Larry Fleisher, The Sports Xchange
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (49). Photo by David Tulis/UPI
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (49). Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK -- Chris Sale still gets strikeouts.

Getting quick outs is just as an important component to him being the best pitcher in baseball.


Sale became the first eight-game winner in the majors Friday night by efficiently tossing a six-hitter and the Chicago White Sox scored seven times in the first three innings of a 7-1 victory over the New York Yankees Friday night.

Sale (8-0) finished off his second complete game of the season and the 10th of his career by throwing a season-low 99 pitches. He joined Eddie Cicotte (1919), John Whitehead (1935) and Jon Garland (2005) as the only Chicago pitchers to begin a season by winning his first eight starts while becoming the first major leaguer to do so since Brandon Webb for Arizona in 2008.


Sale had six strikeouts and did not issue a walk for the third time this season. He threw 71-of-99 pitches for strikes and allowed two earned runs or less for the sixth straight time.

"He can go get it but to me this is a different guy," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Sale, who led the majors with 274 strikeouts in 208 2/3 innings last year. "He can strike people out but I think you're seeing a more effective guy that can go deeper into games. I think the last couple of years he wouldn't have been able to do this, finishing off games."

Sale has yet to get a double-digit strikeout game this season but he also has gone at least seven innings in seven starts. He was at 33 pitches when he gave up a single to Mark Teixeira to start the fourth and needed only 66 more to help the White Sox (24-12) win for the eighth time in 12 games.

"It's something we had talked about in spring training as far as adding that to his game. A guy like him, yeah he could strike guys out. If you want him to take that next step to being that ace, going out there for that seventh, eighth, ninth inning is huge," Chicago catcher Alex Avila said.


Helping Sale quickly finish off his latest win was an offense who had a 3-0 lead through two innings and a 7-1 advantage through three. It marked the fourth straight start where Sale received at least six runs.

Avila opened the scoring with an RBI single off Luis Severino (0-6) and Jose Abreu added a two-run single. Adam Eaton added a two-run double in the third and Jimmy Rollins capped the scoring by reaching the second deck in right field with a two-run home run.

"I've said a million times, I wouldn't be here without these guys," Sale said. "Six runs in four straight outings, I don't know if there's a starting pitcher in the league that would complain about that."

Sale's lone mistake was a 1-1 pitch to Chase Headley, who sent it over the left-field wall to start the second. He retired 15 in a row until the ninth but with runners on second and third, he retired Headley on a fly ball and Gary Sanchez on a ground ball to end it.

"Sale is Sale," Yankees catcher Austin Romine said. "He's going to make some guys make some awkward swings. He did what he normally does. He goes out there and attacks guys. We put some good swings on the ball, but it just didn't fall for us."


Being unable to do much off Sale turned out to be the lowest of New York's concerns. Severino exited one pitch after allowing the home run to Rollins and an MRI revealed he has a mild right triceps strain that will land the right-hander on the disabled list Saturday.

Even without getting injured, it seemed Severino was headed for a rough night. He allowed a career-high seven runs, gave up seven hits and tied a career high with four walks while throwing 81 pitches in the second-shortest outing of his brief career.

"He had no command," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "He was not throwing the baseball where he wanted. He walked guys. He left balls up. He missed his spots. No command."

NOTES: C Gary Sanchez became the sixth player to get a turn as the team's starting DH when he was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre to play against LHPs Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. To make room for Sanchez, the Yankees optioned LHP Tyler Olson to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre a day after recalling him. ... The White Sox officially requested waivers on LHP John Danks, who was designated for assignment last week. ... Chicago also purchased the contract of LHP Matt Purke from Triple-A Charlotte. ... CF Jacoby Ellsbury missed his seventh consecutive game and the Yankees are hoping to avoid placing him on the disabled list. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he thought Ellsbury was running better Thursday and it's possible he might return Saturday


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