Chris Sale first since 2001 to strike out at least 12 in 4 straight starts
Asdrubal Cabrera ruined a milestone day for Chris Sale with one late-game swing.
Cabrera hit a two-run homer off the Chicago ace in the seventh inning, lifting the Tampa Bay Rays to a 2-1 victory over the White Sox Sunday for a three-game sweep.
"Nothing's better than when you do something to help the team win," Cabrera said. "As soon as I hit it I knew it was out. It was awesome."
Sale (6-3) struck out 12, walked three and hit a batter over 6-2/3 innings. He became the first pitcher since Boston's Pedro Martinez in 2001 to strikeout 12 or more in four straight starts. The left-allowed two runs and three hits during a 125-pitch outing.
"It was phenomenal watching him pitch today," said Chicago bench coach Mark Parent, filling in this weekend while manager Robin Ventura attended his daughter's college graduation. "It was awesome. The loss is a letdown, but the letdown is really not getting him some runs."
After Steven Souza Jr. opened the seventh with a walk, Cabrera hit a high fly into the left-field seats off Sale to make it 2-1.
"It was a stupid mistake walking the guy," Sale said. "Then a fastball right down the middle and you lose the game. Guys are going to hit home runs, you can't control that. What I can control is giving guys free passes."
It was Cabrera's third homer this season, and first since May 19. He has just two extra-base hits over his last 19 games.
"I know he hasn't performed offensively the way he wants or is capable of," said Rays manager Kevin Cash said of Cabrera, who is hitting .206. "You get big knocks like that, it erases some of those tough games."
C.J. Riefenhauser (1-0) threw a scoreless seventh to get his first major league win. After Steve Geltz pitched the eighth, Kevin Jepsen got the final three outs for his fifth save.
Tampa Bay (35-29) has won 11 of 15 to move a season-high six games over. 500.
Gordon Beckham, mired in an 0-for-21 slide, doubled off Nathan Karns and scored on Carlos Sanchez's single to put the White Sox up 1-0 in the second.
Karns gave up one run, seven hits, one walk and struck out eight in six innings. Chicago had a runner in scoring position in each of the right-hander's six innings, but failed to score in five of them.
Sale worked out of two-on jams in the first and third, striking out Rays slugger Evan Longoria in both innings. He has struck out 10 or more in a franchise-best five consecutive starts.
Rays: RHP Jake Odorizzi (left oblique) played catch for the first time in a week. ... LHP Drew Smyly (left labrum tear) will play catch for the second time Monday. ... LHP Matt Moore (elbow surgery) will make his third rehab start Monday for Class A Charlotte.
Sale is only the third pitcher since records were first available in 1914 to have four straight 12 or more strikeout starts. Martinez did it three times and Randy Johnson once. The duo will enter the Hall of Fame together this summer. ... He has a franchise career-best 24 double-digit strikeout games. ... It was the first time that a White Sox pitcher had 12 or more strikeouts, allowed three hits or fewer, and lost. ... Sale was two short of his career-high pitch total of 127.