Robin Ventura would've preferred to not start Chris Sale had he known Tuesday's Crosstown Cup matchup would've been rained out, although pitching coach Don Cooper thought there was a positive to the White Sox ace throwing just two innings.
"Here's the way I look at last night: We got a chance to take it out for a real nice test run his first time out," Cooper said. "It's more than a sideline, let's call it a real good, extended sideline."
Sale missed his scheduled start last Wednesday with mild tendonitis in his left posterior shoulder and said he felt fine the morning after his rain-shortened start. He's on track to start on regular rest Monday in Seattle, although nothing's set in stone. The White Sox kick off a stretch of 15 consecutive games Wednesday and could turn to swingman Hector Santiago to start a game to give everyone in the rotation an extra day off between now and mid-June.
"He’s done a lot of different things for us so as far as pitching in the bullpen, he’s done everything," Ventura said. "It’s easy to envision him filling in in any spot."
And for Sale, there was another positive to his start getting cut short -- his scoreless innings streak remains intact. While the left-hander wasn't aware he hadn't allowed a run in 23 innings until someone told him yesterday, his streak stays alive after it would've been snapped by Welington Castillo's two-run homer in the second inning Tuesday.
"It's a break for him, because he gets a test run -- heck, we were losing the game, 2-0, so that's certainly a little break for us, and the bullpen guys get another day to recoup," Cooper said.
Ventura targeting Beckham's return
Gordon Beckham will take batting practice Wednesday and likely play Thursday in Charlotte, where he's on a rehab assignment with the White Sox Triple-A affiliate. The second baseman, who's working his way back after fracturing the hamate bone in his left hand, experienced soreness in his surgically-repaired hand and hasn't played since May 23.
"He’ll probably come back when we’re back for Oakland (June 6-9)," Ventura said. "I don’t see him making it back when we’re in Seattle. I see him more making it back here at some point."
Sox turning attention to Blackhawks
Paul Konerko wasn't in the White Sox lineup Wednesday, though that doesn't mean he'll get to bolt Wrigley Field early to get to the Blackhawks' Game 7 matchup with Detroit tonight. Ventura's planning to be at the United Center tonight, too, assuming Wednesday afternoon's Crosstown Cup game doesn't run too long.
[RELATED: Konerko hopes to attend Hawks' Game 7]
The manager also offered a prediction for what'll happen between the Original Six rivals tonight:
"I would like it to be a shutout in the Blackhawks’ favor. That would be nice. However, I would say 3-1 Hawks. I’d like that.”