Chris Sale, James Shields put on a pitching clinic; White Sox win over Royals


Apr 6, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale (49) delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The pitcher’s duel between Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale and Kansas City Royals ace James Shields was a clinic of major league pitching, with this round going to Sale and the White Sox.

The White Sox won the game, 5-1, scoring four runs in the ninth off the bullpen of the Royals, moving back to .500 on the year at 3-3.

This was a very solid win by the “Good Guys,” and even being just the sixth game of the season, it was a needed victory to snap what was a three-game losing streak. Plus, it kept the Royals from gaining the sweep.

Back to the outstanding pitching by both Sale and Shields.

I must say job well done to each starter for the pitching display they gave baseball fans. (There is no better baseball that I enjoy watching than seeing two pitchers battle for seven or eight innings in shutout baseball).

Both pitchers were dealing from the very first pitch of the game, as neither hurler disappointed the fans in attendance at Kauffman Stadium. Sale and Shields lived up to the billing of being a main event matchup between two of the better pitchers in the American League.

Apr 6, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals pitcher James Shields (33) delivers a pitch against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Sale, with the win, moves to 2-0 on the season. In his eight innings pitched Sunday he allowed no runs on four hits and one walk. The 25-year old Sale struck out six, dropping his ERA to 1.78.

Sale threw 111 pitches, and all four hits allowed by the White Sox ace were singles.

Shields (0-1) kept the White Sox scoreless for nearly seven innings, but allowed one earned run on five hits and no walks. His season ERA now sits at 2.70.

The only run the White Sox scored off Shields came in the top of the seventh, when Alexei Ramirez singled a ground ball to the Royals’ shortstop, scoring Conor Gillaspie from third base.

For insurances purposes the White Sox added four more runs in the top of the ninth, as the Royals’ bullpen imploded. Leury Garcia, Alejandro De Aza, Avisail Garcia and Ramirez all scored runs in the inning.

Ramirez and Gillaspie each had two hits for the White Sox, while Ramirez added two RBIs to his stats on the day. Also with two RBIs was Tyler Flowers.

The Royals erased the shutout with one run on the ninth off White Sox reliever Matt Lindstrom.

Chicago also out-hit the Royals, 8-7, but committed two errors, with the Royals committing one.

More thoughts on the game:

• Again, the game was another closely played game for Chicago, until the explosion of four runs in the ninth. I think we better get used to seeing closely played game this season.

• Baseball is fun again thanks to this team so far in ’14.

• The White Sox left way too many runners on the bases today with that number being 13. That was an unlucky number for sure today.

• I keep saying this, but again … Ramirez has really come to play baseball this season.

• Have I mentioned baseball is fun again?

• Next for the White Sox is a three-game series in Colorado where the DH will be missing from the lineup since the game will be played in an NL Stadium.

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