Chris Sale was so good today that the Oriole faithful gave him a standing ovation.
In 7⅔ innings pitched, Sale struck out 12 while walking none, and all Baltimore could muster was four hits. For the fifth time in his career, The Condor struck out more than 10 batters while walking none. This performance is a far cry from his previous starts against the Orioles. In his first nine games against Baltimore (three starts), Sale was 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA, and the Orioles' OPS against him was 1.049.
The slider was on point today for Sale, as 21 out of the 28 he threw resulted in a strike, and Oriole hitters were 1-for-8 with five strikeouts. After a shaky April, Sale had a bounce-back month similar to Jeff Samardzija, ending May with a 2-1 record, ERA of 2.68, and striking out 46 batters in 37 innings.
On the mound for the Orioles was youngster Tyler Wilson, who made his first career start against the White Sox. After a quick first inning that featured this nifty play from Everth Cabrera ...
... Adam LaRoche doubled to start the second inning, and it was time to see if the White Sox offense followed along on the plane ride from Toronto. LaRoche must have been reading South Side Sox this morning, as when Alexei Ramirez flew out to center field, LaRoche decide to test Adam Jones' arm strength.
It wouldn't be the last time that the White Sox would have a runner on second with no outs. In the fifth, J.B. Shuck lead off with a single and stole second base. The trio of Gordon Beckham, Tyler Flowers and Carlos Sanchez couldn't drive him in, and halfway home the score remained scoreless.
Then Wilson committed the ultimate pitching crime, walking the leadoff hitter to start the sixth. That was Adam Eaton, who came around to score on a Melky Cabrera double to left field. That extra-base hit by Cabrera was satisfying, as it was just fourth of the year (three doubles, one home run) and hopefully it's a sign of good things coming his way. Speaking of good things possibly coming, LaRoche then drove in Cabrera with a double of his own, giving him two for the day. The last time LaRoche had multiple extra-base hits in a game was April 18 against Detroit.
The Sox tacked on a extra run in the ninth when Shuck again singled and swiped second. Beckham's single to left moved Shuck up 90 feet and Flowers drove him in with a fielder's choice. Fortunately, the Sox got that run as the bullpen shenanigans followed the team from Toronto. Zach Duke was on a roll, striking out his first three batters, but Chris Davis crushed a two-run home run to cut the deficit to a run. Ventura lifted Duke for Jake Petricka with two outs, and he picked up his first save of the year striking out Travis Snider.
- Adam LaRoche is heating up. Today marked his third straight multi-hit game, over which he's hitting 7-for-12
- For those that had Scott Carroll in the "Who is getting sent down for Chris Beck" pool, congratulations you win. Make sure to collect your earnings.
- After starting 2-12 on the road, Chicago has won seven of their past nine away.