Sale simply sensational yet again

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Sale simply sensational yet again

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.

Preview: Carlos Rodon, White Sox open final series of season vs. Twins on CSN

Preview: Carlos Rodon, White Sox open final series of season vs. Twins on CSN

The White Sox open their final series of the season tonight, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Tonight’s starting pitching matchup: Carlos Rodon (8-10, 4.08 ERA) vs. Tyler Duffey (9-11, 6.18 ERA)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.

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— Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes.

— See what fans are talking about before, during and after the game with White Sox Pulse.

White Sox five-game winning streak snapped with loss to Rays

White Sox five-game winning streak snapped with loss to Rays

The playoffs were the ultimate goal and he probably would have liked another victory on Thursday night.

But Jose Quintana has plenty to be proud about when he takes stock of his 2016 campaign, which ended with a 5-3 White Sox loss to the Tampa Rays in front of 14,792 at U.S. Cellular Field. The first-time All-Star’s record dropped to 13-12 after he allowed two earned runs in six innings in his final start, but not before Quintana established career highs for innings pitched, strikeouts and earned-run average. The loss guaranteed a fourth straight losing season for the White Sox, who haven’t reached the postseason since 2008.

“I’m happy with my year,” Quintana said. “But every time I say it’s not about me. It’s about the team. We’ll try to finish strong in the next series against the Twins and come back next year to have a better year than this one.”

Quintana had the best individual season of his career. If he’d received any kind of run support from his teammates, he’d be at or near the top of the leaders for wins, too.

But same as he has for the past four seasons, Quintana didn’t receive any run support yet again on Thursday, though this time can be attributed to a stellar performance by Chris Archer.

Archer held down early an offense that had Quintana ranked 116th out of 132 qualified starting pitchers in run support. The White Sox only had two runners reach scoring position in the time Quintana pitched (one scored). By the time Archer slowed down, the White Sox bullpen allowed three runs and the contest was nearly out of reach at 5-1.

Still, Quintana was good enough to win yet again in a season full of comparable efforts.

He allowed a run in the second inning on a bloop RBI single by Alexei Ramirez and another in the fourth on a solo homer by Mikie Mahtook. Other than that he was his normal efficient self, striking out seven and limiting the Rays to two runs and five hits in six innings.

The effort lowered Quintana’s ERA to 3.20 (his previous low was 3.32 in 2014). He also surpassed his previous high-inning mark of 206 1/3 with 208 this season. And, Quintana, who eclipsed the 10-win mark for the first time in his career, finished with 181 strikeouts, three more than he in 2014.

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White Sox manager Robin Ventura thinks the overall production was a byproduct of the first All-Star nod for Quintana, who surpassed 200 innings for a fourth straight season.

“You wouldn’t think that would mean a lot, but it really does,” Ventura said. “I think that’s the stuff that can catapult somebody into things that are better and pushing him into the offseason, the optimistic stuff of going into next year.”

Quintana’s name often surfaces as an easy fix to some of the White Sox’ woes when it comes to next season.

With two guaranteed seasons and two club-friendly options left on his current contract, Quintana — who entered Thursday valued at 19.7 f-WAR for his career — is viewed as a stellar trade chip given the weak free agent class. It is believed the White Sox could solve several problem areas on the roster or add considerable depth to their farm system were they to make Quintana or Chris Sale available. Quintana knows the possibility exists but hopes he’s back with the White Sox next season and helping them end their postseason drought.

“I don’t have control about that,” Quintana said. “I don’t know nothing about trades. I’m here as a Chicago White Sox, and I want to be here for a long time. I’ll go home, rest and am going to be ready to start with my preparation for next year. I’ll be ready for that, but I don’t have control about trades.”