The wins just keep piling up for Chris Sale, who seems to be creating a slight problem for the White Sox brass with his quality starts.
The 23-year-old left-hander was staked to a huge lead early on Tuesday night by an offense that put up 19 runs and 21 hits in the blowout 19-2 win over Texas.
“With a team like that they can explode for runs at any time,” Sale said. “I know we had quite a few runs tonight, to say the least, but you still have to go out there with the same intentions you started out with.”
Sale threw 7 1/3 innings on Tuesday, allowing five hits and just one run while nailing down his 10th win of the season. He was told by manager Robin Ventura that this will be his last start until after the All-Star Game.
The Sox will let Sale throw one inning in the Midsummer Classic on Tuesday night. He then will not pitch again until July 15 or 16 because of plan drawn up by the team to protect his valuable arm from overuse in his first season a major league starting pitcher.
“If it was up to me I would be pitching on [my regular day to pitch] Sunday,” Sale said. “I am glad that the decision did not come down on me because at the end of the day I have to put this team first and [I] always will be.”
With more than 100 innings already on the books, it is a no brainer for management to shut down their young ace until after the break.
“Things changed when he had that period [with a sore elbow] where he was going to the bullpen and then not going to the bullpen,” Ventura said. “It is about his health first and how he feels being a starter, and [so far] he’s been able to bounce back and continues to get stronger every time out. But we are not holding anything back, we just watch and see how he goes and how he feels.”
Kevin Youkilis had a home debut to remember, hitting a line drive home run in his first at-bat in front of White Sox fans. “It was a great night,” Youkilis said. “It was awesome to get all of those runs and let Chris do his thing out there on the mound. It was fun and you couldn’t ask for a better start to the homestand.”
Youkilis recorded his second three-hit night with his new team and drove in four runs.