Chris Sale incident overshadows Detroit Tigers-Chicago White Sox suspended game

By Sarah Trotto, The Sports Xchange
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale. Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale. Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo

CHICAGO - The Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers were tied 3-3 after eight innings before rain suspended Saturday night's game, which will be resumed before Sunday's series finale.

The wet weather and gloomy forecast didn't wipe out pregame fireworks provided by the White Sox and ace Chris Sale.


Minutes before he was to take the mound, the White Sox announced that Sale had been sent home because of an incident that was characterized as not physical by the team.

Right-hander Matt Albers started in Sale's place. The team said it is investigating the incident.

"The White Sox will have no additional comment until the investigation is completed," general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement.

Rain delayed the game three times - for 10 minutes before first pitch, for 1 hour, 14 minutes after the first two innings, and 45 minutes after eight innings.


Albers, normally a reliever, allowed an unearned run and a hit in two innings in his first start since June 25, 2008. He pitched in his third consecutive game.

"I just got the call before the game instead of in the seventh inning," Albers said. "They were just like, 'Hey, we need you to pitch then,' so I'm ready to go. I just kind of answered the bell and just go out there the first couple innings."

Albers said pitching coach Don Cooper told him about the situation about 90 minutes before the scheduled first pitch.

"I just kind of mentally prepared to get ready to probably throw a few innings," Albers said. "I knew I wasn't going to go too long, but hopefully give 'em as much as I could."

The Sox used six pitchers in all.

"Proud of them for stepping up and filling in and doing what they had to do," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "It was very professional of them."

Tigers starter Matt Boyd allowed three runs - one earned - and five hits in 4 1/3 innings.

The Tigers took the lead in the first after Cameron Maybin singled, stole second, advanced on catcher Dioner Navarro's throwing error and scored on Miguel Cabrera's groundout.


The White Sox scored two unearned runs in the second to take a 2-1 lead. Todd Frazier went to second on third baseman Castellanos' error and scored on Avisail Garcia's sacrifice fly. Navarro doubled past Castellanos to put the White Sox ahead.

Garcia hit his sixth home run - a solo shot - in the fourth.

The Tigers loaded the bases but were unable to score in the third. Dan Jennings struck out Cabrera and got Victor Martinez to line out.

The Tigers are 5-3 after the All-Star break and will try for a series sweep Sunday.

"This is a team that can get us into the playoffs," Tigers general manager Al Avila said before the game. "We just have to get the guys back that are injured. We've got to stay healthy and we've got to be more consistent. I believe this team has the capability to do that, and we have a great manager to lead the way."

NOTE: Robertson will start the ninth inning of Sunday's resumed game, Ventura said. ... The White Sox are expected to add a 26th player for the second game. ... White Sox 2B Brett Lawrie (hamstring) remained out of the lineup for the second consecutive game. He might be ready to play in a couple of days, Ventura said. ... White Sox RF Adam Eaton returned to the lineup after fouling a ball off a foot on Friday. ... Tigers LHP Daniel Norris (right oblique strain) allowed six runs (five earned) in 4 2/3 innings in a rehab start Saturday for Triple-A Toledo. He is nearing a return with the Tigers. ... RHP Jordan Zimmermann (right neck strain) is expected to pitch Sunday for Triple-A Toledo. The Tigers will then evaluate whether he needs another rehab outing, general manager Al Avila said. ... C Jarrod Saltalamacchia made his third consecutive start for the Tigers. Manager Brad Ausmus said he wants to give Saltalamacchia some starts even though C James McCann is healthy.


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