One start into June and Chris Sale looks like the same guy just named the American League Pitcher of the Month for May.
Sale didnt look as overwhelming as he did when fanning 15 batters in his previous start, but he was dominant in leading the White Sox to a 4-2 victory over Seattle on Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field.
Alex Rios drove in two runs as Chicago overcame an early 2-0 deficit and won for the 10th time in 11 games and 14th in their past 16.
Sale, who entered the game 3-0 with a 0.92 ERA and 28 strikeouts in his previous three starts, improved to 7-2 in pitching his first career complete game, and Chicagos fourth of the season.
He gave up two runs on five hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in his 119-pitch effort.
The outing saved a taxed Chicago bullpen, which was depleted and then some in Saturdays 10-8, 12-inning loss that snapped the Soxs nine-game winning streak. Chicago used all seven relievers and starter Jose Quintana in relief of Gavin Floyd.
Sales only harmful mistake came in the second when he gave up a two-run bomb to
Miguel Olivo, giving Seattle a 2-0 lead. Olivo drove an 0-1 pitch an estimated 448 feet into dead center field.
The Sox answered with a run in the bottom of the inning when Brent Lillibridge drew a bases-loaded walk from Kevin Millwood. But Gordon Beckham grounded into a force out at second to end the threat with Chicago still down 2-1.
Millwoods wildness continued in the third as the Sox rallied to tie the game. After walking three and throwing a wild pitch in the second, Millwood started the third by walking Adam Dunn and then hitting Dayan Viciedo.
Rios followed with a single up the middle that scored Dunn and tied the game 2-2.
With Millwood struggling, the Sox tacked on two more runs in the fourth, getting RBI singles from Beckham and Rios to take a 4-2 lead.
Millwood didnt return for the fifth, having thrown 95 pitches already. He gave up four runs on seven hits and five walks with four strikeouts in four innings.
Sale pitched out of some trouble in the fourth and fifth innings after allowing lead-off hits both times. Jesus Montero led off the fourth with a single but went no further as Sale got a fly out before striking out the final two batters.
The trouble seemed worse in the fifth, but again Sale didnt allow a lead-off double by Michael Saunders to derail him. Like the previous inning, Sale retired the next three batters in stranding Saunders at second.
Sale looked in control the entire afternoon, though he never retired more than seven in a row. He was the second White Sox player to earn pitcher of the month this season. Jake Peavy took the award in April.