By Nate Gotlieb
Minneapolis — Chris Sale pitched eight shutout innings and struck out 12, and the White Sox notched 14 hits as they defeated the Twins 7-0 on Saturday at Target Field.
White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez hit his 10th home run of the season, and Tyler Flowers added two RBIs as Chicago (51-54) defeated the Twins (46-57) for a third consecutive night, clinching the four-game series.
“He was great, seemed to have everything, and he was just working fast,” manager Robin Ventura said of Sale. “This was just a great performance by him. And the offense, I think, any time you get some runs like that and you feel confident you’re going to score like that, it just, I think that’s another reason it gets him going pretty quick.”
Sale allowed five hits and improved his record to 10-1 on the season. In 110 innings this year, the 25-year-old Sale has 122 strikeouts and a 1.88 ERA. He is 4-0 over his past five starts.
“I don’t know if he’s done anything more,” Ventura said of Sale’s last month. “He’s a really good pitcher, and I think it’s proven every time he goes out there that he’s one of the best pitchers in the league.”
Sale baffled Twins’ hitters with a quick and efficient pace Saturday, yielding zero extra-base hits and allowing Minnesota to reach scoring position just twice the whole night.
Third baseman Conor Gillaspie gave Sale all the offense he needed when he doubled and scored in the second inning. Adam Eaton singled and scored in the third, and Ramirez scored two on his home run in the fifth.
The White Sox added three runs in the sixth inning knocking Twins rookie starter Logan Darnell out of the game. In his first-career start, Darnell allowed seven earned runs on 11 hits.
Gillaspie finished with three hits, and Paul Konerko, Eaton, Ramirez and Flowers each added two for the White Sox, who improved to 6-3 since the All-Star break. The White Sox have been especially hot in the past three games, tallying 42 hits.
“This team is very voracious and desired to keep winning and to keep getting better,” Sale said. “I think we’ve showed that on a nightly basis [by] coming in here and working hard and just never giving up…When things aren’t really going our way, we’re still playing hard [and] still playing to win.”
- First baseman Jose Abreu extended his hitting streak to 16 with an infield single in the ninth inning. Abreu went 1-for-5 on the night.
- Ventura said he doesn't expect Sale to face Detroit this coming week despite an off day Monday. The White Sox will start a three-game series with the A.L. Central-leading Tigers on Tuesday.