Chris Sale strikes out 14 as White Sox drop Astros in Carlos Correa's debut

CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura's feelings about Chris Sale's recent run were pretty clear Monday night.

"He was fantastic," Ventura said. "He's really been on a roll and some of the numbers he's starting to rack up are impressive, especially how long this organization has been here."

Sale struck out 14 in eight innings and the White Sox handed Houston its fifth straight loss, 3-1 on a rainy Monday night. Highly regarded Carlos Correa drove in the Astros' run in his big league debut. Beyond that, Houston didn't get much against Sale, who became the first White Sox pitcher to fan at least 10 in four straight games, the team said in citing Elias Sports Bureau.

It was Sale's third straight game with 12 or more strikeouts. He gave up one run and five hits.

"I don't pay attention to any of that. I just try to come in and do my job," Sale said of his recent numbers. "If it's good, it's good. If it's bad, it's bad. Just go out there with everything I've got."

Correa, the top pick in the 2012 draft, was promoted from Triple-A and became the youngest player in the majors at age 20. Batting sixth and playing shortstop, he went 1 for 4 for the AL West leaders.

In the fourth, Correa came up with runners at second and third and two outs. After a replay review, he was called safe for beating out a grounder to short for his first run batted in.

David Robertson struck out two for his 11th save. Avisail Garcia hit a two-run homer in the fourth in a game that started 25 minutes late because of rain and later was delayed for 38 minutes.

And that was more than Sale (6-2) needed to beat Correa and the Astros.

"That night. we just couldn't really solve Sale," Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. "That night was all about Chris Sale."

Lance McCullers (2-1) took the loss. He also was taken in the 2012 draft and became close friends with Correa while they were together in the Astros' system.

Correa was hitting a combined .335 with 10 home runs, 44 RBI and 21 doubles with 18 stolen bases between Fresno and Double-A Corpus Christi.

Correa popped out in his first at-bat. After his single, he grounded out and struck out to cap a day that saw him fly into Chicago and deal with two rain delays.

"It was a crazy day," Correa said.

Coming off his 11-strikeout, complete game Wednesday against Baltimore, McCullers went seven innings and allowed three runs and four hits while striking out seven. Hinch said he didn't consider taking McCullers out after the 38-minute delay in the bottom of the third.

He wished somebody else had been removed, however.

"I would have been fine if they didn't bring Sale back, though" Hinch said.


Hinch confirmed that RHP Vincent Velasquez will be called up from Double-A Corpus Christi to start Wednesday. Velasquez will be taking the place of RHP Roberto Hernandez, who is heading to the bullpen. Velasquez is 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA at Corpus Christi.


Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the second on Melky Cabrera's single, driving in Adam LaRoche. For Cabrera, it was his first run batted in since May 28 in Baltimore.


Astros: Manager A.J. Hinch said the team hasn't assessed how Correa's arrival could impact SS Jed Lowrie. Lowrie (right thumb) underwent surgery May 1 and was transferred to the 60-day disabled list May 18.

White Sox: LHP Dan Jennings (neck) and RHPs Nate Jones (right elbow) and Matt Albers (right pinkie) remained on the disabled list.


Houston LHP Dallas Keuchel (7-1, 1.85) faces White Sox LHP Carlos Rodon (1-0, 3.45). Rodon was mentioned as a possible target for the Astros with the first overall pick last year that was used on LHP Brady Aiken. Rodon was taken by Chicago with the third pick.