CLEVELAND (AP) Chris Sale doesn’t need much help on nights he pitches. Give him a five-run lead before he even takes the mound, that’s a tough predicament for the opposition.
Sale allowed two runs in seven innings and the Chicago White Sox used their big first inning to power past the Cleveland Indians 10-3 on Saturday night.
”That was awesome,” Sale said of the White Sox’ five-run first. ”It’s a good feeling sitting in there before you even throw your first pitch, you’ve got a five-spot. It was fun to watch.”
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Sale (9-5) cruised after being handed the big lead. The left-hander struck out seven to regain the American League lead with 170. Sale allowed seven hits and didn’t walk a batter.
”It was a great first inning by the offense,” manager Robin Ventura said. ”They come out and quick strike. You get out front, especially with Sale going. It was nice to have. He did what he usually does. He gives you pretty close to unhittable stuff.”
Jose Abreu drove in three runs, Melky Cabrera was 3 for 5 with two RBIs and Carlos Sanchez hit his first major league homer. The White Sox pounded out 16 hits and every starter had a hit.
The White Sox, who came to Cleveland with six losses in seven games, have outscored the Indians 24-4 in winning the first three games of a series that ends Sunday. The White Sox (45-50) have moved the Indians (45-51) into last place in the AL Central.
”They’ve outplayed us in every way in this series,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. "They’ve hit better than us, they’ve pitched better than us.”
Carlos Carrasco (10-8) allowed six runs in four innings. The right-hander hasn’t won since coming within one out of pitching a no-hitter against Tampa Bay on July 1.
Chicago had six hits and sent nine to the plate in the first. Abreu and Tyler Flowers each had two-run singles, while Cabrera added an RBI single.
”You can’t say enough about how much that settles you in and gives you the confidence to go out there and throw strikes,” Sale said. ”Just make quality pitches and try not to let anything get too out of hand.”
Sanchez hit a solo homer in the fourth. Cabrera, who had three hits, added another RBI single in the seventh. Abreu also singled in a run in the ninth.
Sale allowed a season-high 11 hits in a loss to Kansas City in his last outing, but his teammates gave him plenty of cushion Saturday.
Chicago scored three times before Carrasco retired a batter. Adam Eaton and Tyler Saladino opened the game with singles. After Cabrera’s single scored a run, a passed ball by catcher Yan Gomes put runners at second and third. Abreu’s single made it 3-0.
Alexei Ramirez doubled with two outs and Flowers, snapping an 0-for-17 skid, singled for two more runs.
Carrasco was hit in the face by Cabrera’s first-inning line drive on April 14 at Progressive Field. He was removed from the field on a golf cart, but sustained no serious injuries and missed only one turn in the rotation.
LET’S STAND PAT
Sale hopes the team’s success in the series convinces the front office to keep right-hander Jeff Samardzija, who has been the subject of trade rumors. ”He’s done an unbelievable job of not letting it get to him,” Sale said. ”It’s hard not to when everyone’s talking about it. He hasn’t let it affect him. It says a lot about him.”
White Sox: Abreu (right index finger) said he is no longer experiencing soreness after re-bruising his finger on July 11 at the Cubs. The injury dates to mid-May.
Indians: 2B Jason Kipnis (neck stiffness) was not in the lineup, but Francona believes he will play in the four-game series finale Sunday.
White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodon (3-3) opened his rookie season with two wins, but has gone 1-3 with a 6.98 ERA in his six subsequent starts.
Indians: Danny Salazar (8-5) is scheduled to start against Rodon and the White Sox.