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Vintage Chris Sale dominates in 6-1 White Sox loss

Position Player Pitching Alert: José Rondón tosses a scoreless ninth inning

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Chicago White Sox
Hello darkness, my old friend: The White Sox broke Chris Sale out of his season-long slump.
Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Sale sought his vengeance at Guaranteed Rate Field and succeeded, finally earning his first win of the season. The 6-1 Chicago White Sox loss was not nearly as close as the final score indicated.

For the Pale Hose, Reynaldo López started the game with two straight outs. Unfortunately, an inning doesn’t end until a third out is earned. López gave up a ground-rule double to J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts singled on a ground ball, and to top it off, Rafael Devers homered them all home in his first long ball of the season.

López eventually escaped his first inning jam. In the second inning, he ran right back into traffic, starting the inning with a walk to Tzu-Wei Lin and a hit to Andrew Benintendi. However, López evaded trouble and fairly cruised through his next four innings.

Sale, on the other hand, dominated from his first pitch thrown to his last. He racked up 10 strikeouts, and he didn’t give up his first hit until two outs into the fourth inning — a line-drive single to the guy he was traded for in December 2016, Yoán Moncada.

The White Sox did gain some momentum in the fifth inning. Near future closer José Rondón doubled to right field, and Welington Castillo was hit by a pitch. But, because Sale still occupied the mound, and having reverted to pre-2019 Sale, he struck out the next three White Sox.

López, around the 90-pitch mark, was given the opportunity to pitch the sixth inning. What Rick Rentería had hoped to be a quick sixth inning and a quality start for López instead turned into a bigger deficit for the White Sox. Michael Chavis homered to left field after a Devers single to right. Down 6-0 and after walking Mitch Moreland, López was pulled, for Jose Ruíz.

Sale was able to finish his half of the sixth inning, but not before giving up a scorching line drive double off of Devers’ knee to James McCann.

McCann is the silver lining in today’s ballgame. He continues to be an effective cleanup and two-strike hitter, and had two of Chicago’s five hits on the night. He ended the Red Sox’s shutout bid in the eighth inning with a single to center field that scored Adam Engel. Unfortunately, it would be the first and last run the White Sox put on the board in this not-as-exciting-as-last-night’s-game.

Not going to lie, I was excited when the White Sox acquired McCann from the Detroit Tigers, and I’m glad to see how well he is doing on the South Side.

To make the night a little less bitter, or at least much weirder, Rondón came on to pitch the top of the ninth. With an interesting pitching motion and pitches that were too slow to register on the radar gun, Rondón pitched a scoreless ninth. No. 20 is racking up career firsts this season: his first appearance in left field on April 28 against the Detroit Tigers, and first pitching debut tonight. With a career 0.00 ERA, Rondón might be the 2018 Matt Davidson. For the sake of the Sox, however, this will hopefully be José’s final pitching appearance this season.

Unfortunately, Boston does tie the series at one. Nevertheless, Chicago aims to take the series lead during tomorrow’s 6:10 p.m. CT game, on WGN radio and NBC Sports Chicago TV.

I’m Ashley Sanders, the rookie at South Side Sox. (Ali, we could have used you in the pen tonight.) Although the White Sox couldn’t muster a win in my SSS debut, I look forward to a great, content-filled season.