Sale ends drought with 8 scoreless, White Sox beat A's 6-2
CHICAGO (AP) Chris Sale raced out as the majors' first 14-game winner and was the AL starter in the All-Star game. Then the White Sox ace hit a rut and drew attention not for his pitching, but his jersey-shredding tirade.
After a masterful eight scoreless innings that produced his first victory in 49 days, Sale acknowledged the importance of what he called ''getting over the hump.''
Sale allowed three hits and threw a season-high 120 pitches, Jose Abreu homered and Chicago beat the Oakland Athletics 6-2 on Saturday night.
''My last few times out I haven't been as good as I've wanted to be or as good as I've needed to be,'' the lefty said.
Sale (15-6) had gone 0-4 in his previous six starts, interrupted by a five-day suspension for slicing up throwback uniforms he didn't want to wear.
He looked like his dominant early season self, retiring the last seven batters, five by strikeout, and working in sync with catcher Dioner Navarro.
''He's calling two-seams and four-seams on both sides of the plate. Front-door, back-door breaking balls and stuff like that,'' Sale said.
The White Sox scored four runs with two outs, including Abreu's solo shot that just cleared the eight-foot wall and Brett Eibner's glove in right in the first inning. Melky Cabrera added an RBI double in the second and a run-scoring single in the fourth off Ross Detwiler (1-2).
But the White Sox made it interesting late.
''With baseball, the tying run usually comes on deck. We do it whether it's 2-1 or 6-0,'' manager Robin Ventura said.
Oakland's Danny Valencia homered in a two-run ninth off Nate Jones. David Robertson came in with two on and got the final two outs for his 31st save when Chad Pinder, playing in his first major league game, flied deep to center.
''I thought it was easily getting over (Adam Eaton's) head,'' A's manager Bob Melvin said. ''From the sound of it and I know his power, you felt like it had a chance to be a home run.''
Detwiler allowed six runs and 10 hits in four innings in his third start for the banged-up A's, who have dropped six of seven.
Carlos Sanchez and Tim Anderson added two-out RBI singles for the White Sox a night after they were held to two singles. The White Sox snapped a two-game skid and won for the fourth time in 14 games.
Abreu, who has hit safely in 15 of 17 games, also doubled and scored in the third and walked in the fourth.
Sale got Khris Davis to hit into a double play with two on in the first. Sale walked three but got stronger as the game went on. He retired 15 of the last 16 batters and hit 96 mph while striking out the side in the seventh. He struck out eight and lowered his ERA to 3.15.
''There's a lot of movement on the baseball and his breaking ball does two different things depending on which side of the plate he throws it,'' Melvin said. ''Even if you guess right, there's so much movement on it, it's tough to square up.''
Athletics: RHP Jesse Hahn (shoulder) was supposed to come off the disabled list and start Sunday, but he suffered what he called minor discomfort in a bullpen session. ''He'll have at least another rehab game, but I'm not sure when,'' Melvin said. ... DH Billy Butler, a .378 career hitter against Sale, was out with a stomach illness.
White Sox: 2B Tyler Saladino (back) sat out a second straight game. ''He could play. It's just better that he gets a little time off,'' Ventura said. ... OF Avisail Garcia (knee) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte. ... Ventura is hopeful C Alex Avila (hamstring) will begin another rehab stint within the week. ... RHP Miguel Gonzalez (groin) hopes to throw off the mound Sunday. ... 2B Brett Lawrie (hamstring, quadriceps) returned to Double-A Birmingham's lineup after sitting out two days.
Pinder, Oakland's second-round pick in 2013, finished 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. The 24-year-old out of Virginia Tech became the 46th player to appear in a game for Oakland this season and the 11th to make his big league debut.
A's rookie RHP Zach Neal (2-2, 5.19 ERA) will fill in for Hahn against Chicago LHP Jose Quintana (9-9, 2.85) on Sunday.