Chris Sale has been one of the silver linings in an otherwise disappointing season for the Chicago White Sox. The left-hander goes after a third straight winning decision on Sunday when the White Sox try to salvage the finale of a four-game set with the Cleveland Indians at U.S. Cellular Field.
Sale was terrific in beating the Detroit Tigers on Monday, as he allowed a run and four hits and struck out eight over eight innings to run his record to 11-12, while lowering his ERA to 2.90.
"This is as well as I have seen him pitch this year as far as feeling at ease, throwing all of his pitches at any time," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura.
Sale has won five of his last six decisions and has allowed more than three earned runs just once in his last seven trips to the mound. He also became just the third pitcher in franchise history to record 200-plus strikeouts in a season at an age younger than 25.
"The win-loss record for Chris doesn't show what he's done this year on the mound," said White Sox catcher Josh Phegley.
Sale has faced Cleveland 17 times (6 starts) and is 2-3 with a 4.18 ERA against it.
Getting the call for the Indians on Sunday will be righty Zach McAllister, who has lost his last two decisions. McAllister was roughed up by the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday, as he allowed four runs and six hits over five innings to fall to 7-9 on the year to go along with a 4.11 ERA.
McAllister is 2-1 in six starts versus the White Sox with a 2.97 ERA.
Cleveland continued to make life miserable for the White Sox on Saturday, as Ubaldo Jimenez carried a shutout into the ninth, Lonnie Chisenhall and Asdrubal Cabrera homered in a five-run fourth inning and the Indians rolled to an 8-1 win.
Jimenez (12-9) went 8 1/3 innings but couldn't lock down his first complete game or shutout since 2011. He was charged with a run and gave up eight hits and a walk with eight strikeouts.
He threw 73 of his 105 pitches for strikes, running his record to 3-0 in his last three starts. A sacrifice fly after Jimenez was taken out of the game in the ninth counted as the only earned run against him in his last three starts spanning 21 1/3 innings.
"He's pitching with confidence," said Indians manager Terry Francona. "His stuff is real crisp. Right when we need people to step up, he's done it as much as anybody."
Chisenhall hit a three-run homer and Cabrera had a two-run shot in the fourth off White Sox starter Andre Rienzo (2-2).
The Indians, chasing a wild card spot in the AL, are 14-2 against the White Sox this season, including 11 wins in a row. They have won the first three games of this four-game series by a combined score of 25-5.
Rienzo went four-plus innings for Chicago, giving up seven hits and four walks with two strikeouts.
The White Sox, who have lost five in a row and are 2-14 in their last 16 games ovrall, have lost 11 in a row to the Tribe and are just 2-14 against Cleveland this season.
The Sports Network