CHICAGO -- Chris Sale can finally work on distancing himself from the heartbreak he felt in his last start against the Los Angeles Angels when the Chicago White Sox face the Detroit Tigers in the series finale at U.S. Cellular Field on Thursday.
Sale took a shutout into the eighth inning Saturday in Southern California before giving up five runs (four earned), capped by Mike Trout's grand slam on a changeup low in the strike zone. An Alexei Ramirez error helped to get things rolling downhill in the inning.
That one swing from Trout brought in more runs (four) than Sale had given up in an entire start this season.
The left-handed staff ace is about as intense of a competitor that the White Sox have, but manager Robin Ventura isn't worried that Sale will try too hard to prove himself.
"He just goes and pitches," Ventura said. "He's a high-intensity guy, a lot of emotion. He separates things pretty good."
Before his start against the Angels, Sale had given up two hits or fewer in four consecutive starts. Those outings were wrapped around a trip to the disabled list because of a flexor muscle strain.
Sale has a 4-4 career record against the Tigers with a 3.00 ERA. He last faced Detroit in September of last season, throwing 7 2/3 scoreless innings but still receiving a no-decision.
Read all about it: This is the Rapid Reaction from Wednesday's 8-2 victory over the Tigers that moved the White Sox to within 2½ games of first place in the AL Central.
Keep an eye on this: Jose Abreu has hit home runs in back-to-back games, the third time this year he has gone deep in consecutive games. He joined Wally Berger (20 home runs in 1930) as the only players in baseball history to hit at least 19 home runs in his first 52 games.
Question of the day: What is the realistic chance Abreu can stay on his 47-home-run, 123-RBI pace?