With a bullpen that had been relied upon heavily early this season, White Sox pitcher Chris Sale was able to give them the night off with a complete game two-hit shutout of the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday in a 1-0 victory. Although the offense struggled to score throughout the game, they were able to come through for Sale in the top of ninth inning. The win on Friday marked the White Sox fifth consecutive win.
Sale pitched the first complete game of the season for the White Sox and posted nine strikeouts and no walks against the Rays. The White Sox were stifled on offense and couldn’t capitalize on score opportunities against Rays pitcher Jake Odorizzi. The White Sox offense was held scoreless through seven innings pitched by Odorizzi, but the Rays were unable to muster any offense of their own against Sale.
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The White Sox on offense had multiple chances to put runs on the board early, but couldn’t get Sale any run support on Friday until Odorizzi left the game. In the top of the second inning, Brett Lawrie got on base with a double and Avisail Garcia walked, but Alex Avila ended the threat with a groundball double play.
The White Sox next best scoring opportunity came in the fourth inning. Todd Frazier and Melky Cabrera got on base with a pair of singles after Jose Abreu lined out to open the inning . Lawrie grounded into a force out as he hustled up the baseline to prevent a double play. Garcia was unable to score Frazier from third as he nearly missed a bloop single that was caught by Logan Forsythe. On the play however, Forsythe collided with center fielder Kevin Kiermaier and both players left the game.
While Sale was dominant on the mound, the White Sox would still need to score to get their ace his third win of the season. In the ninth inning, the White Sox took advantage of mistakes by the Rays to score the go-ahead run. Jimmy Rollins led off the inning with a single off of reliever Alex Colome, and was trapped by Desmond Jennings in right field. After Abreu stuck out, Todd Frazier hit what appeared to be a routine flyout to Corey Dickerson,but Rollins was able to advance to second base on Dickerson’s throw as he nearly collided with Brandon Guyer.
The Rays elected not to walk Cabrera to get to Lawrie and paid for it. Cabrera hit a RBI single to put the White Sox ahead 1-0 in the ninth inning. Sale closed the door in the bottom of the inning for a complete game shutout. The White Sox improved to 7-1 on the road and 8-2 overall.