White Sox 2, Indians 1: Bullpen passes rain delay test

Brian Kersey

Downpour ends Chris Sale's night after three innings, but strong relief work makes a pair of runs hold up

A one-hour, 58-minute rain delay limited Chris Sale to three innings and threatened to waste his turn in the rotation. Somehow, thanks to Scott Carroll, Jake Petricka and Ronald Belisario, the White Sox produced the same result as if Sale went eight innings himself. This White Sox winner took five hours and 44 minutes to complete, but they're back to .500 nevertheless.

Although it wasn't always pretty, the bullpen somehow made two runs of offense hold up over six innings. Carroll gave up some long, loud outs, but he took care of the fourth through sixth innings. Petricka came in after Scott Downs allowed singles to the only guys he faced. He minimized a first-and-third-nobody-out situation -- getting the inning under control with a fielder's choice RBI, blowing up a hit-and-run with a swing-and-miss, and getting a strikeout for the third out.

And when Petricka allowed a single to start the eighth, his defense picked him up with an incredible 5-4-3 double play on Michael Brantley, only possible because of a quick, strong turn by Gordon Beckham.

The Indians answered with some highlight-reel D of their own when Michael Bourn robbed Paul Konerko of a two-run homer, and he couldn't really waste a stride to do it. The Sox ended up stranding two and leaving Belisario the minimum save cushion, but Belisario got a routine groundout, a routine flyout and a wide strikeout for a clean save.

Carroll ended up picking up his second win, but the scorer should have invoked All-Star rules and awarded it to Sale. He pitched three hitless innings, with a walk to Mike Aviles the only baserunner. Even with a nice strikeout total (four), he still only needed 40 pitches.

His offense blew a golden opportunity in the first by failing to cash in with the bases loaded and one out, but Conor Gillaspie picked up his teammates in the third. With a heavy rain starting to fall -- the gloveless Gillaspie lost his bat on a foul ball at one point in the sequence -- he got down on a full-count sinker and rifled a line drive into center field to score Adam Eaton for the game's first run.

Had Sale lasted the whole game, that might have been enough. Instead, they needed Gordon Beckham's no-doubt shot to left field off Mark Lowe to put them over the top, and back to breaking even.

Bullet points:

*A weather delay pushed back the first pitch 41 minutes, resulting in two hours and 39 minutes of delays total.

*For the second time this season, a White Sox middle infielder was spiked above his knee. This time, it was Aviles spiking Beckham in the third inning. It seemed like more of an accident than Josh Donaldson's (Aviles hurt himself on the play), but still, that's no good.

*Kinda funny that Sale's walk was the only one issued by White Sox pitching all night. Belisario threw 10 of 12 pitches for strikes, which is the biggest reason he's the best potential high-leverage solution.

Record: 27-27 | Box score | Play-by-play | Highlights

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