Chris Sale wanted to face Miguel Cabrera on Monday night.
The White Sox coaching staff didn’t like the matchup and called for a free pass to Sale’s dismay.
Sale’s fifth-inning intentional walk of Cabrera later led to a verbal exchange with White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper on the field and continued on into the dugout after the inning ended.
Sale and Cooper exchanged words, and manager Robin Ventura later joined in when the argument extended into the tunnel between the dugout and clubhouse.
Shortly after the walk to Cabrera and another to Prince Fielder, Detroit took a three-run lead in a game it won, 7-3, on Victor Martinez’s two-run single.
“He does (have passion), but I’m the one making that call,” Ventura said. “But (Sale) needs to have a little more composure and get that guy and not worry about what happened before.”
Ventura said he ordered the intentional walk of Cabrera, the American League’s reigning Triple Crown winner, in favor of a lefty-lefty matchup with Fielder.
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Never one to back down from a challenge, Sale might have been even more on edge after the White Sox opened the inning with one of three errors on a routine grounder to shortstop Alexei Ramirez.
“I don't like giving people stuff,” Sale said. “I like people to earn getting on base. But at the end of the day that's his (Ventura's) call.”
Sale unintentionally walked Fielder on four pitches to load the bases, which brought Cooper out of the dugout. The two could be seen exchanging words. Sale got ahead of Martinez but left a two-strike slider over the plate, and the designated hitter singled back up the middle to drive in two runs.
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Ventura can understand why Sale wanted to face Cabrera but liked the percentages against Fielder.
“He probably wants to pitch to (Cabrera), but that’s my decision,” Ventura said. “It’s one of those that with a lefty on deck, really any lefty, I know Prince is a great hitter, (but) Chris against a lefty, you’re going to take that any time just to stay in the game.”