The ace left-hander has received an average of 2.47 runs per start this season, the worst run support for any starting pitcher in baseball this season. On Tuesday the White Sox gave him just a little more than that average and helped Sale snap a three-start losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the New York Yankees.
"We have not been able to get him an early lead," said Paul Konerko, who drove in the Sox's go-ahead run with a fielder's choice in the sixth inning. "We felt like when we pulled ahead 3-1 that you're always in good shape with him on the mound."
The three runs scored by the Sox on Tuesday matched the total they had scored for Sale combined in his last three starts. Tuesday was only his second victory in his last 12 starts. Sale was 1-9 with a 1.96 ERA over his 11 starts heading into Tuesday.
"I think every situation you are in is a learning experience," Sale said after winning his seventh game of the season. "Good, bad or indifferent, each outing, each pitch you learn something from. I learned a lot last year having some success and facing some adversity this year. You take the good with the bad and try to keep your head up through it all."
Sale had not won a home game since May 12 against the Los Angeles Angels. He has a 2.19 ERA at U.S. Cellular Field in 2013, the fourth-best home ERA in the American League.
"He was a little erratic early," manager Robin Ventura said. "He settled down to what you expect. He has had a lot of emotion going on for him, as far back as you remember he hasn't got a lot of run support."
With the 3-2 win, the Sox have played in 40 one-run games, the most in baseball. They are 15-25 in those games.
"We want to win," Sale said. "That goes for everybody in here. When you are not doing your part and winning games you are going to get frustrated. Whether you have a good game or bad game, coming in here after a loss is never fun. We are 25 individuals coming together as one. I think throughout all this (losing) we have maintained the unity and the bond that we have. That is what makes us such a great team. We don't get down on each other or down on ourselves. We are trying to make a push the best we can."