Sale strikes out 12 as White Sox beat Astros
Left-hander Chris Sale set a team record with another double-digit strikeout performance as the Chicago White Sox beat the Houston Astros 3-1 on Monday.
Right fielder Avisail Garcia’s two-run homer in the fourth provided the margin as the White Sox (26-30) stopped a two-game skid in the opener of a three-game series.
Sale (6-2) had a season-high 14 strikeouts — one short of a career high — while allowing just five hits and one walk in an eight-inning outing. He threw 118 pitches, 84 for strikes.
It was his team-record fourth straight game with 10 or more strikeouts and third in a row with at least 12.Right-handed reliever David Robertson worked a scoreless ninth for his 11th save in 14 tries.
Right-hander Lance McCullers (2-1) took the loss. He allowed three runs on four hits over seven innings, struck out seven and walked none for Houston (34-25).
Monday’s game was held up by two rain delays totaling 1 hour, 3 minutes yet still officially finished in 2 hours, 13 minutes.
The game also featured Houston shortstop Carlos Correa’s big league debut. Called up on Monday from Triple-A Fresno, Correa batted sixth and collected a fourth-inning RBI single.
The first overall pick in the 2012 draft, Correa has batted .335 with 21 doubles, 10 homers, 44 RBIs and 18 steals in 53 combined games between Double-A Corpus City and Fresno.
Monday’s game began 25 minutes late as a fast-moving storm hit just two minutes before the scheduled 7:10 p.m. first pitch. The White Sox opened a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when designated hitter Adam LaRoche led off with a double to deep left, reached third on right fielder Avisail Garcia’s infield grounder and scored on left fielder Melky Cabrera’s single to center.
More rain arrived with two outs in the bottom of the third, leading to a 38-minute delay.Houston had runners on second and third with none out in the fourth after a Cabrera error in left when he appeared to slip on wet grass. Sale struck out the next two batters, but Correa beat out an infield single to drive in left fielder Jonathan Villar and tie the game at 1-1.
It was the first major league hit and RBI for Correa, while Sale saw his 22 2/3-inning scoreless streak end. The White Sox went back up on Garcia’s one-out homer to right in the last of the fourth. Garcia’s seventh homer of the season drove in first baseman Jose Abreu for a 3-1 lead.
NOTES: SS Carlos Correa’s call up wasn’t the only transaction on a busy day for the Astros, as 3B Matt Dominguez was designated for assignment and RHP Jake Buchanan was optioned to Triple-A Fresno. RHP Vincent Velasquez was expected to be called up from Double-A Corpus Christi and start Wednesday’s series finale with the White Sox. … LHP Dallas Keuchel (7-1, 1.85 ERA) starts on Tuesday against LHP Carlos Rodon (1-0, 3.12 ERA). Keuchel is 1-0 against Chicago this season. … Chicago RHP Jeff Samardzija has struggled recently but manager Robin Ventura is not concerned. “I’m not doubting he can’t right that ship and get back to the form he’s used to,” Ventura said. … The series features seven players who were selected in the first round of the draft by their respective clubs. INF Gordon Beckham (2008), LHP Chris Sale (2010) and LHP Carlos Rodon (2014) were first-round picks by the White Sox. C Jason Castro (2008), OF George Springer (2011), INF Carlos Correa (2012) and RHP Lance McCullers (supplemental, 2012) were first-rounders by Houston.