Chris Sale, the ace of the Chicago White Sox, allowed just two earned runs in nearly seven innings of work, but the defense and offense by his teammates didn’t do much in terms of helping him out in Sunday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Once the final out was recorded the White Sox lost 2-1, ending a terrible three days in St. Petersburg as they were swept in three consecutive games by Rays this weekend.
The loss by the White Sox leaves them 12-21 on the road this season, and 28-33 overall, five games under .500. The last win for the White Sox on the road was June 3 in a 9-2 win against the Texas Rangers. They now trail the AL Central first-place Kansas City Royals by seven games, as KC was postponed Sunday.
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Though Sale (6-3) was charged with the loss, the White Sox reverted back to their ways of having trouble scoring runs and playing defense up the middle against the Rays. Chicago had the lone error of the game, but there were mental miscues in the game as well, pointed out by the White Sox broadcast team.
Sale not only allowed just two earned runs (he has a 3.01 ERA on the season), but he walked just three and allowed just three hits in 6.2 IP. The ace struck out 12 batters, which was the fifth consecutive start he has struck out at least 10 batters, and the sixth time in the past seven games he’s achieved that feat.
In those past five starts, Sale has struck out 61 batters, allowing just six earned runs as he is 3-2 in that span of games (37.1 IP).
On Sunday though the run support wasn’t behind the ace, with his teammates batting just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, though they did have eight hits and walked once. Chicago had two extra base hits with Gordon Beckham and Melky Cabrera each hitting a double.
May 25, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Chicago White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton (1) swings at a pitch during the first inning in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. The Toronto Blue Jays won 6-0. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Adam Eaton (.245 average) and Cabrera (.240 average) led the White Sox with two hits each.
The lone White Sox run scored off a single by Carlos Sanchez, scoring Beckham. though Sanchez was thrown out at second as he tried to stretch the single into a double in the top of the second inning.
Tampa Bay’s runs came off a home run by Asdrubal Cabrera in the bottom of the seventh off Sale. The home run also scored Steven Souza Jr. Cabrera is batting just .206 on the season, as the homer was his lone hit of the game.
The winning pitcher was reliever C.J. Riefenhauser, who pitched the seventh inning for the Rays.
With the White Sox now finished in Tampa Bay they will next travel to Pittsburgh for a short two-game road series against the Pirates, before returning to U.S. Cellular Field to face the same Pirates for two games on Wednesday and Thursday. From there the White Sox will host the Rangers for three games, starting Friday, June 19.