White Sox 4, Mariners 2

With a worn down bullpen, White Sox manager Robin Ventura gave

in to Chris Sale’s request.

Sale pitched a five-hitter for his first major league complete

game and Chicago beat the Seattle Mariners 4-2 Sunday for its 10th

win in 11 tries.

Sale (7-2) struck out eight and walked two. It was his 10th

start this year after pitching in relief for Chicago during the

last two seasons.

Sale allowed Ventura to rest his entire bullpen after Chicago

used all seven relievers in Saturday’s taxing 12-inning loss. He

also lowered his AL-leading ERA from 2.34 to 2.29.

Sale entered the ninth with 100 pitches. He allowed a leadoff

single by Jesus Montero, but got Justin Smoak to hit into a double

play. Dustin Ackley followed with a single and Sale finished the

game off by getting Miguel Olivo to strike out after a nine-pitch

at-bat. He struck out Olivo on his 119th pitch.

”I asked him to go back out. He said, `Yeah, you got to be

efficient,”’ Sale said, recalling his talk with Ventura. ”I

wasn’t as efficient as I needed to be, I’m just thankful for him to

give me that opportunity to go back out there and finish the


In Sale’s previous start, he struck out 15 in 7 1-3 innings at

Tampa Bay.

”Obviously you want to go out there and be good every time out,

but I don’t think there was any added pressure after (the

15-strikeout game). I take the ball every day with the same

mindset,” Sale said.

Alex Rios drove in two runs for the AL Central leaders.

The 23-year-old lanky left-hander had to battle Olivo for the

final out. Earlier in the game, Olivo tagged Sale for a long

two-run homer.

”It was tough. Obviously the last hitter of the game, you’re

just bearing down. He got me early. I was just really trying to

keep the ball down to him,” Sale said.

Sale continues to impress Ventura.

”Again, what Chris did today was big in a lot of ways,” he

said. The bullpen has ”been used a lot in the stretch. It’s just

nice to get some rest.”

Kevin Millwood (3-5) was beset by control problems. He allowed

four runs and seven hits in four innings. He struck out four but

walked five.

”He was just missing. He didn’t quite have the command he

typically has. He wasn’t way off. When he was trying to get back,

he tried to do a bit much from time to time. He was right there, he

was just missing,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.

Trailing 2-0 with the bases loaded and two outs in the White Sox

second, Brent Lillibridge took a 3-2 pitch that was just off the

outside corner to cut the Seattle lead to 2-1. Millwood prevented

further damage by getting Gordon Beckham to ground out.

Control issues continued for Millwood in the third inning. He

issued a leadoff walk to Adam Dunn then hit Dayan Viciedo with a

pitch. Rios then tied the game with an RBI single.

”They were close, but they were balls. Once again, I wasn’t

locating my fastball very well. For the most part, I was able to

keep the ball on the ground, but they found some holes. I walked

too many guys. Just wasn’t able to make pitches when I needed to,”

Millwood said.

The White Sox took the lead in the fourth. Flowers and Eduardo

Escobar singled and Beckham hit an RBI single.

With two outs, Rios hit a hard grounder that ricocheted off

Millwood’s foot. Shortstop Brendan Ryan fielded the ball and made

an off-balance throw that was too late to get Rios, allowing

another run.

NOTES: Mariners RHP Felix Hernandez (tweaked back) ”still feels

it today” and is limited with his activity, according to Wedge.

Wedge believes Hernandez will make his next scheduled start on

Wednesday. He plans on making the decision on Monday. … White Sox

CF Alejandro De Aza missed the game because of illness. 1B Paul

Konerko and C A.J. Pierzynski had the day off. … White Sox OF

Kosuke Fukudome, who got a rare start, left the game early because

of back stiffness.