Chris Sale didn’t want the conditions to affect his start.
They didn’t at first but later led to his early departure in a 2-1 White Sox victory over the Cleveland Indians.
Sale was outstanding again but even he couldn’t outlast a 1-hour, 58-minute rain delay in between the third and fourth innings.
“Usually when you get over the 45-minute mark it’s tough to go back out there,” Sale said. “Once we got to 45, 50 minutes I knew I wasn’t going back out there.”
The Indians had to feel pretty fortunate as Sale needed only 40 pitches to retire nine of the first 10 batters he faced, including four strikeouts. On the heels a one-hit, 10-strikeout showing, Sale came out firing and Cleveland’s offense looked as if it were in for a long night despite rainy conditions.
A steady rain expected earlier in the evening -- first pitch was delayed for 41 minutes -- arrived in the second inning. But Sale pitched through it as he only walked one batter over three scoreless.
“I knew the rain was coming,” Sale said. “I just didn’t want to acquiesce to the conditions or the rain or anything that affected me. So, I just wanted to stay the course, go out there like it was a normal one and do my part.”
White Sox manager Robin Ventura said the team plans to keep Sale, who made his second start since coming off the disabled list, on normal rest.
Sale has a 1.73 ERA over 36 1/3 innings this season with 17 hits and eight walks allowed. He has 43 strikeouts and the White Sox improved to 5-1 when he starts.
Sale is expected to pitch again Monday in Los Angeles against two-time National League Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw.
“It’s always frustrating,” Ventura said of losing Sale to a delay. “On the good side it just helps him health-wise. It just makes him a little bit stronger the next time he comes back out.
“He’ll wait the five. At the point where he’s coming back and doing what he’s doing, there’s no reason to do it.”