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Yankees 3, White Sox 2: Big hit eludes Chicago bats, but finds Chris Sale

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Chris Sale strikes out eight to reach doorstep of single-season strikeout record, but he's still winless in September

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Sale didn't snap his losing streak. Nor did he set the White Sox' single-season franchise record.

He did, however, top 200 innings and rack up his 1,000th strikeout while the White Sox slid back into the 10th draft slot, so I guess things were accomplished after all.

The Condor turned in his best start of September, even though he dropped to 0-4 this month. Unfortunately, he gave up a three-run homer to Carlos Beltran, and the White Sox offense couldn't find that one big swing to answer. The Sox out hit the Yankees 11-7, but they went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10.

Both parties were to blame, because the way Sale gave up his three runs was frustrating. He received a gift in the third inning when Jacoby Ellsbury, after getting hit by a pitch and stealing second to start the frame, ran into Alexei Ramirez as the Sox shortstop tried catching a jam-shot popup off the bat of Chase Headley. Instead of a speedy runner on second, he had the slower Headley on first.

Yet Sale wasted the opportunity. He threw Alex Rodriguez four out of the zone after getting ahead with a first-pitch fastball to put a runner back into scoring position. Then he got ahead of 1-2 on Carlos Beltran by blowing upper-90s heat by him, but after missing with a backdoor slider, Sale tried to get a fastball in on him. It grabbed too much of the inner half, and Beltran turned on it enough to get it into the first row of seats in left field for a three-run homer.

Sale was nails after that, allowing seven hits and a walk over seven innings while striking out eight. He now has 267 on the season, and he's just shy of Ed Walsh's record of 269 back in 1908.

The offense couldn't bail him out, though. They had plenty of opportunities against Michael Pineda, but they couldn't truly capitalize on any of them.

  • Third inning: Melky Cabrera lines a single to right field with runners on first and second, but the lead runner is Tyler Flowers, who has no shot of scoring. Trayce Thompson then strikes out to end the inning.
  • Fifth inning: An Adam Eaton single moves Flowers to second with one out, but Headley takes away an RBI from Jose Abreu with a nice backhand stab at third, and Cabrera grounds out to first.
  • Seventh inning: With two outs, Eaton keeps the inning alive with a walk and Abreu singles to knock Justin Wilson out of the game. In comes Dellin Betances, who isn't much help. He walks Cabrera to load the bases and Thompson to bring in a run to make it a 3-2 game, but Adam LaRoche strikes out to keep the Sox from doing more damage.

The Sox also collected singled off Betances in the eighth and Andrew Miller in the ninth, but they didn't even get to scoring position. It would've helped if the Sox had more than one extra-base hit, or if that extra-base hit game with runners in scoring position. Instead, Thompson delivered the only big hit by wrapping a line drive around the left-field foul pole to start the sixth inning. That's cool and all, but...

It might also have helped if the Sox' multi-hit games didn't have 0-fers in between them. Alexei Ramirez and Flowers went 2-for-4, and Eaton went 3-for-4. The batters following each of them combined to go 1-for-13 with five strikeouts and a double play.

Record: 72-81 | Box score | Play-by-play | Highlights