Chris Sale went 6 innings, allowed 3 hits and struck out 5 while giving up no runs. Verlander likewise gave up no runs. He pitched 7 innings, struck out 6 and allowed 6 hits. Pitching lines like these need to occur in the same game in order for the contest to be considered a pitching duel, and since the rain washed out that possibility, both aces achieved their wins in separate games.
Twins (60-85): 0
White Sox (77-66): 6
Chris Sale helps the Sox maintain their position atop the Central. (Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE)
Twins starter Esmerling Vasquez waited a few innings before falling into the trap that dropped him out of the game in his first 2 career starts. Despite giving up a run via groundout in the 2nd, it wasn’t until the 4th that Vasquez started handing out walks. Three of them were issued, enough to walk in a run as they were preceded by a Paul Konerko single. Unfortunately the White Sox didn’t finish the job and were unable to force him from the game, taking just the one run and moving out of the inning. There was more offense in store, though, and nearly every avenue of achieving them was exercised.
In addition to the RBI groundout, and the RBI walk, Sox runs came by sacrifice fly by Dewayne Wise in the 9th, run scoring singles from Alex Rios and Alexei Ramirez, and of course the all familiar homerun, this one the 19th of Kevin Youkilis’ season.
Chris Sale had himself a start that Sox fans wish could have come last night against the Tigers. He didn’t walk any as he took care of the Twins lineup without any real issues. Any potential threatening situations were handled with pizzazz by the Sox defense. Kevin Youkilis hot corner plays, Dewayne Wise chasing down balls in the gaps and Alexei Ramirez spinning grabs up the middle kept Sale looking good and cruising through his 6 innings. Brett Myers (2 IP) and Matt Thornton (1 IP) locked down the shutout that Chris Sale started.
Plus: Chris Sale doesn’t look tired and kept his control throughout his outing. Sale hasn’t gone an entire start without allowing a walk since his return from skipping a start back on August 12. Call it a second wind, or call it the Twins lineup, but so long as Sale does his job we can all relax a little bit and know he’s there.
Minus: Vasquez went 5.2 innings and allowed 3 runs, making it the best start of his unextraordinary career. There isn’t any reason he should have been able to last that long. The next time he starts piling on walks early against a good hitting team, he’ll likely be leaving that inning as well. Despite a 6-0 win, the White Sox would have made us all feel much better if they’d blown it wide open early when they were shown the seams.
Player of the Game:
Chris Sale – .337 WPA