2010 first round pick preserves 6-4 Chicago win
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Making his 10th major league appearance, former FGCU baseball star and the 2010 Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year Chris Sale picked up his first career save on Wednesday afternoon in the Chicago White Sox’s 6-4 win at Cleveland.
Chicago entered the day just four games behind Minnesota in the American League Central race. The Twins will play host to Detroit tonight at 8:05 p.m.
Sale entered the game in the top of the ninth after slugger Paul Konerko gave Chicago a 6-4 lead in the top of the eighth with a three-run home run.
The 6-foot-5 lefty promptly struck out the first batter before issuing two walks and recording a ground out. With runners on first and second with two outs, Sale got Shin-Soo Choo to strike out swinging on a 95-MPH fastball to preserve the White Sox’s third straight win. Shin-Soo Choo, the No. 3 batter in Cleveland’s lineup, was 3-for-4 on the day with a double before facing Sale.
Shin-Soo Choo is the 16th player to strikeout against Sale in just 10 innings of work. Since being called up on Aug. 4, Sale has given up just one run, five hits and limited opposing hitters to a dismal .152 batting average. Sale sports a 0.90 ERA and has struck out at least one batter in his last eight appearances, including two or more six times.
According to Baseball America, Sale’s arrival in Chicago after being selected with the 13th overall pick in the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft on June 7, will be the quickest major league debut of any draftee since Reds 2003 first-rounder Ryan Wagner. Sale is also the first Sox player since Alex Fernandez in 1990 to reach the majors in the season in which he was drafted. Just 13 of the 32 first round picks from this year’s draft have signed contracts.
A five-time All-American (Ping!Baseball, Louisville Slugger, Yahoo! Sports, Baseball America, ABCA/Rawlings) in 2010, Sale ranked fourth in the nation as a junior in 2010 with 146 strikeouts over 103 innings. The Lakeland, Fla. product’s 11-0 record, two saves and 2.01 ERA helped the Eagles clinch their third consecutive A-Sun regular season title. Sale became the second player in program history to win the A-Sun Pitcher of the Year award and was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award.