Lefty tosses 2.2 scoreless inning to earn win over Detroit
DETROIT, Mich. – With September baseball now in full swing, the Chicago White Sox are one of baseball’s hottest teams after picking up their seventh consecutive win on Monday afternoon. Right in the middle of that win streak is former FGCU baseball All-American Chris Sale, who picked up his first career win after tossing 2.2 scoreless innings against the Detroit Tigers in a 5-4 extra-innings victory at Comerica Park on Labor Day.
Sale entered the game in the eighth and went on to retire all eight batters he faced to help the White Sox move to 7-0 on their critical 10-game road swing. Included in the eight consecutive outs recorded by Sale were three strikeouts, as the 6-foot-5 lefty fired 22 of his 33 pitches for strikes.
Chicago plated the eventual game-winning run in the top of the 10th on an RBI single by A.J. Pierzynski that scored pinch-runner Alejandro De Aza from third base to make it 5-4. De Aza came in to pinch run for Manny Ramirez, who delivered his third hit of the game to lead off the inning.
With a chance to nail down his first career win, Sale made quick work of Detroit’s Austin Jackson, Will Rhymes and Johnny Damon, retiring the Tigers’ top three hitters in the lineup in just 16 pitches. Damon is now 0-for-2 against Sale this season.
Sale took over for Chicago starter Edwin Jackson who left with one out and a runner on second in the bottom of the eighth with the game tied 4-4. A native of Lakeland, Fla., Sale now sports a 1-1 record with one save, a 0.66 ERA and 19 strikeouts over 13.2 innings.
Despite the seven-game win streak, Chicago (77-60) is still three games back of Minnesota (80-57) in the American League Central race.
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.