Last year, it took the Chicago White Sox 24 games before they had their 10th victory of the season. This season, it's only taken 15 games to reach the 10-win mark thanks to Chris Sale pitching another gem and leading the Sox to a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
Coming off a complete game shutout against the Tampa Bay Rays, Sale stymied the Angels lineup throwing seven shutout innings and became the first pitcher to reach four wins this season. Unlike in Tampa when The Condor struck out nine batters, Sale pitched more to contact only recording three punch-outs. If it wasn't for his arch-nemesis, Mike Trout who had both hits off Sale, it could have been a perfect afternoon.
In a season that has quite a few "Best of's since___", 2016 is the best start to any season for Sale. In 30 innings, he has a 1.80 ERA with 26 strikeouts to just three walks and a WHIP of 0.60.
Countering Sale on the mound was Angels starter Garrett Richards, who made an early mistake in the first inning to Tyler Saladino that landed in the left-field bullpen to give the Sox a 1-0 lead.
The game-winning run came in the fifth starting with a double by Alex Avila. Next batter, Austin Jackson, laid down a sacrifice bunt that Richards proceeded to airmail the throw over first baseman C.J. Cron's head, allowing Avila to score all the way from second base. Leading 2-0, with Jackson on second base and no outs, the Sox couldn't continue cashing in on Richards error. As a team, they were 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position leaving 6 men on base.
Angels scored their only run in the eighth inning as pinch hitter Rafael Ortega delivered with an RBI single off closer David Robertson. Rally would fall short as Yunel Escobar grounded to out to Todd Frazier ending the inning, and Robertson went three up, three down in the ninth for his sixth save of the season.
- Brett Lawrie walked three times, increasing his on-base percentage to .345
- As a team, the White Sox are 25 for 105 with RISP on the season.
#WhiteSox have now allowed 1 or 0 runs 7 times this season; their most times through first 15 games of season since 1909 (also 7)— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) April 20, 2016