Sale, shoulder strong despite defeat

Chris Sale threw six strong innings for the White Sox on Sunday. Cary Edmondson/USA TODAY Sports

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Chicago White Sox left-hander Chris Sale's streak of scoreless innings ended Sunday in a 2-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics, but his pitching shoulder remained strong and pain-free.

The White Sox and Sale will take that trade any day.

Sale made his first official start since being scratched on May 22 against Boston because of tendinitis in his left shoulder. He pitched three innings Tuesday against the Cubs in a game that was called because of rain and turned out to be a glorified tune-up.

Sale held the A's to one run on four hits over six innings, striking out five and walking one, but took the loss, ending his four-game winning streak. He extended his career-high streak of scoreless innings to 28 before giving up a run in the sixth inning.

"I felt good. I felt loose," Sale said. "I felt like I had pretty good command of all my pitches. It just got away."

And his left shoulder specifically?

"Felt strong. Felt good. Just another day out there," Sale said.

Sale threw 104 pitches and left the game trailing the A's and right-hander Jarrod Parker 1-0. Coco Crisp worked a leadoff walk off Sale in the sixth, and Jed Lowrie singled him to third. After Sale fanned Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Donaldson sent a sacrifice fly to right, bringing Crisp home.

"They never give up, that's for sure," Sale said of the A's. "A team like this, right when you think they're swinging a lot, they start taking and right when you think they'll take, they'll start swinging. Very good balance throughout the lineup Just a good team. I felt like I did everything I could to kind of control them. I think at the end of the day I just flat out got outpitched by Parker. He went out there and did everything he could."

Parker held the White Sox scoreless for 6 1/3 innings on two hits, and the A's bullpen did the rest.

Sale's 28-inning scoreless streak is the longest by a White Sox pitcher since Wilson Alvarez's 31-inning streak Sept. 11-27, 1993.

"It's cool," Sale said of his streak. "Obviously when you have something like that it means you're going to win some ball games and help your team win, but I couldn't have told you how many scoreless innings I had coming in here right now. I'm kind of glad it's over so we can stop talking about it and just kind of get back to normal baseball business and go up to Seattle and turn this thing around."

The White Sox have lost a season-high six straight games and are 0-5 on their eight-game road trip, which concludes with a three-game set at Seattle.

"Losing a game like this is tough, getting shut out, but don't think for a second that I've lost faith or anybody else in here has lost faith in what we can do or what we know we can do," Sale said. "This kind of stuff is going to happen. You're going to lose games you should win and you're going to win games that you should lose. That's kind of how sports and baseball goes.

"We're going to bounce back. We've got the guys, we've got the mentality, we've got the coaching staff. We got all the right pieces in all the right places. It's just a matter of turning it around and getting some good luck and some hops our way and that's kind of how it goes."