White Sox ace notches 16th win with complete game over Royals on Friday. The All-Star pitcher was close to getting ninth loss but an eight inning comeback from White Sox turned game around.
The Chicago White Sox held a 2-0 lead over the Royals on Friday in the bottom of the fifth inning. After the Royals took the lead 4-2 over Sox starter Chris Sale, it looked like Kansas City would get another comeback win over the pale hose this season.
However, Carlos Sanchez had other plans. For the second consecutive game, Sanchez played hero as he hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the eighth inning. The home run gave the Sox a 6-4 lead en route to a 7-4 victory over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
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Sale was able to comeback from a 4-2 deficit and pitch a complete game. The complete game was Sale’s sixth of the season. Sale recorded 10 strikeouts while giving up four earned runs.
The Sox offense struck first against the Royals in the second inning off starter Ian Kennedy.After Kennedy walked the bases loaded, Leury Garcia hit a RBI forceout to score the Sox first run of the game. In the third inning, the Sox increased its lead to 2-0 after a sacrifice fly from Todd Frazier. Despite getting on base with a single from Jose Abreu and a double by Melky Cabrera, the Sox could only get one run across in the third inning.
Sale was pitching a no-hitter through four innings against Kansas City when he gave up a single with one out to Salvador Perez. After a double by Cheslor Cuthbert, Tyler Saladino made a critical throwing error on a single hit by Hunter Dozier. The error led to Cuthbert and Perez scoring to tie the game.
The Royals would later take the lead in the sixth inning after a RBI triple from Whit Merrifield and a RBI single from Kendrys Morales. Although it was starting to become apparent the Sox were going to lose, Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera woke up the South Siders.
Herrera throw a fastball up and in to Todd Frazier in the eighth inning. Frazier was visibly upset by the pitch location, but Perez calmed him down at home plate. Frazier would then lace a double to right field to put himself in scoring position. Alex Avila would bring Frazier home with a single to cut the Sox deficit to 4-3.
After Avisail Garcia walked, Sanchez came up to bat looking to be the hero. Sanchez was able to win the Sox previous game on Thursday against the Indians with a walk-off single. On Friday, Sanchez played an even bigger hero as he hit the go-ahead three-run home run to put the Sox ahead 6-4.
This was all Sale would need to come back out and finish the game. Melky Cabrera added a solo home run in the ninth inning, and Sale closed the door in the bottom of the inning for his 16th win. With the win, the Sox improved their record to 72-75 on the season. The complete game for Sale, was his sixth consecutive start where he pitched eight innings or more. Adding to Sale’s impressive start, was solid performance from Abreu. Although he didn’t have a RBI, Abreu recorded two hits and his average is currently at .300.
Although the Sox aren’t mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, it will take a miracle for them to reach the postseason at this point. The Sox have played much better in their last 10 games going 7-3, but this nice stretch could have been helpful earlier in the season. It would be nice if the Sox can manage to end the season over .500, but right now fans should continue enjoying Sox baseball while it lasts.