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Tyler Flowers sends Chicago White Sox to rare win

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It took 11 innings, 12 strikeouts from Chris Sale, two runs, including one home run off the bat of Tyler Flowers for the Chicago White Sox to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-1 Tuesday at Busch Stadium.

Flowers hit a solo home run in the top of the 11th, and David Robertson slammed the door shut in the bottom of the inning to give the White Sox their 33rd win of the 2015 season.

The win by Chicago moves them to 33-42 overall, while the Cardinals are now 51-25.

Though he had no part in the final decision of the game, the star of the Interleague contest was left hander Chris Sale and his pitching for eight very strong innings.

Sale left the game with a 1-1 tied score, with the lone run he allowed being a solo home run in the fourth inning by Randal Grichuk, who was 3-for-5 for the night.

Sale on the other side had to bat since the game was at a National League park, and in the third inning he gained his first career hit (with Lance Lynn pitching), snapping an 0-for-8 streak at the plate in what was a very rare at-bat for the AL pitcher.

Jun 30, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher

Chris Sale

(49) throws to a St. Louis Cardinals batter during the seventh inning at Busch Stadium. The White Sox defeated the Cardinals 2-1 in eleven innings. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Sale’s single eventually led to him being batted in for the first run of the game off a base hit by Jose Abreu in the top of the third. Abreu (who has a .293 average) finished 2-for-5 with one RBI as he was the No. 2 hitter in the order for the White Sox.

Though even with Sale showing his skill with the bat, this age was all about his pitching and him entering the record books, becoming just the second pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball to strike out 10 or more batters in eight consecutive starts. Sale joins Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez on the list, who achieved the feat in 1999.

Sale struck out one batter in the first inning, then came back by striking out the final two batters of the inning. Those two strikeouts began a string of five consecutive K’s by the lefty, with Sale striking out the side in the third.

Though Sale allowed the lone St. Louis run in the fourth, he did have one strikeout in the inning, then in the fifth he added to more to his total, with a strikeout to start the fifth and one to end the inning.

The three-time All-Star, Sale continued to tact on strikeouts with two more in the bottom of the sixth. Sale had no strikeouts in the seventh, then his final inning of work he ended the night with one more strikeout of Jhonny Peralta.

In all, Sale threw 116 pitches, 81 for strikeouts, as he ended the night with the aforementioned 12 strikeouts and just one walk. He ERA dropped down to 2.87 on the season.

Jun 30, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher

Daniel Webb

(40) throws to a St. Louis Cardinals batter during the tenth inning at Busch Stadium. The White Sox defeated the Cardinals 2-1 in eleven innings. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Webb (1-0) gained the win, in 0.2 innings of relief. The save by Robertson was his 16th of the season. The loss went to Miguel Socolovich.

As usual it was a shame to have Sale not gain a win when he had 10-or more strikeouts, but that seems to be the norm when he pitches lately. Sale is pitching at a Cy Young award caliber, and he’s making his point to become the AL All-Star game starting pitcher in a couple weeks in Cincinnati.

Sale is the saving grace for the White Sox this season, and we’ll all get the chance to see if he can add to his consecutive game strikeout streak, and become the first player to have 10-or more strikeouts in nine consecutive games.

Wednesday’s starters will be Jose Quintana (3-7, 3.95 ERA) for the White Sox and John Lackey (6-4, 3.35 ERA) for the Cardinals. Game time is 8:05 p.m. ET (7:05 p.m. CT).

Next: MLB Power Rankings

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