Sale shows guts without his best stuff

ARLINGTON, Texas – Chris Sale overcame a four-run onslaught in the first inning to help the Chicago White Sox to a 9-5 win over the Texas Rangers in the first game of a three-game series at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Statistically, it wasn’t one of Sale’s more impressive games of the season. He pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed six hits (one home run), two walks, two hit batters and tied a season-high for runs allowed with five (all earned).

But Robin Ventura was impressed with the way his pitcher battled back from a four-run first to post five scoreless innings, three of which were 1-2-3 innings, with six strikeouts.

“This is a tough lineup,” Ventura said. “It’s not easy to try and get through. They force you to do different things because they’re good. They’re all great base runners. It’s an impressive thing for me, what (Sale) is doing.”

Sale didn’t show the kind of speed on his pitches that fans have grown accustomed to, but Sale said it was a non-issue. He said he was more concerned with the location of his pitches when facing a lineup with the Rangers’ reputation.

“These guys can hit anything,” Sale said. “Giving up four in the first was a rough spot, but you can’t let that get to you. You got to still fight for the game and just go out there and pitch.”

Sale gave most of the credit to the offense, which scored in five different innings to put the game out of reach.

“I didn’t have my best stuff,” He said. “Fortunately for us we came out and swung the crap out of the bats.”

Sale got credit for the win, making him 12-3 on the season. He is now tied with Texas’ Matt Harrison for the third-most wins in the AL.