MILWAUKEE -- Chris Sale twirled an eight-inning gem, Alexei Ramirez hit a tie-breaking sacrifice fly in the eighth inning and the White Sox snapped their seven-game road losing streak by beating the Brewers, 4-2, at Miller Park on Tuesday.
"We've been banged up down there the last few days," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura, referring to his bullpen. "So to get that out of him and get him on his way to feeling where he should be and continue that and get a win out of it with Sale and [closer David] Robertson is a nice little trend for us."
The score had been tied since the fifth inning, when Chicago mounted a go-ahead rally against tough Brewers reliever Michael Blazek, who had been unscored upon in 11 of his first 13 appearances this season. Blazek surrendered a one-out single and a walk, then threw a costly wild pitch that advanced Jose Abreu to third base representing the go-ahead run. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Ramirez cashed in with a line-drive sacrifice fly to center field.
Brewers third baseman Elian Herrera homered for the third straight day, but the Brewers were mostly held in check by Sale. The left-hander returned from suspension to post his 19th career double-digit-strikeout game, allowing two runs on three hits, with one walk and 11 strikeouts. His eight innings set a season high.
"That guy's ERA right now doesn't tell the kind of pitcher he is," said Brewers starter Mike Fiers, who took a no-decision after allowing two runs in 6 1/3 innings. "But we battled against him. We were right there in the end. Chris Sale got it done."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Sale's strong return: After serving a five-day suspension for his role in the on-field fracas with the Royals on April 23, White Sox ace Sale had a strong return, striking out the side in the sixth inning and ending his night with a strikeout of Brewers leadoff man Jean Segura. Sale entered the game with two straight non-quality starts for the first time since 2012 but avoided his first stretch of three.
"All in all, a good job, good job attacking guys," said White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers of Sale. "He did a good job down and away to righties. That's usually a tougher pitch for him. That gives him a pretty decent weapon to challenge them if they want to be aggressive early. We can trust that and let it sink away. Swing if you want, otherwise we'll take strike one and work from there." More >
On Fiers early: Just like Wily Peralta the night before, Fiers appeared to possess no-hitter stuff in the early innings. He retired the first 11 men he faced before Abreu reached on third baseman Herrera's error with two outs in the fourth inning. Avisail Garcia followed with a sharp grounder down the line that hit off Herrera's glove and was ruled an infield single -- Chicago's first hit.
"He did his job, for sure," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "You get in a game against Chris Sale, and you have to be perfect." More >
Red-hot Herrera: The switch-hitting Herrera entered the season with one home run in 330 Major League at-bats over three seasons. He's hit four home runs in 21 Major League games this season, including a home run in each of the Brewers' last three games -- all batting right-handed, and all to tie a score or put his team ahead. Herrera's solo homer in the fifth inning off Sale knotted the score at 2. More >
Robertson finishes: Robertson allowed his first runs as a member of the White Sox and had his first blown save on Sunday against the Reds, in a game the White Sox won. But he closed the door on the Brewers and the White Sox seven-game road losing streak with a perfect ninth on Tuesday.
Counsell improved to 3-0 and the Brewers to 7-1 after successfully challenging a call at third base in the ninth inning. After a catcher's interference call put Micah Johnson at first base, Emilio Bonifacio bunted to Brewers reliever Neal Cotts, whose throw to first base was wild. Johnson scampered to third and was initially ruled safe, but that decision was overturned upon review and wound up costing the White Sox a run as the inning continued. Chicago settled for one run.
Afterward, Counsell was upset about the interference call. Replays showed Martin Maldonado's glove never got in the way.
"The umpire said he got confused, he asked for help, and the other guys had interference," Counsell said. "They got it wrong."
LOOK WHAT I FOUND
Sale appeared to amaze himself in the fourth when he made a no-look, behind-the-back grab of Ryan Braun's grounder up the middle. Sale had to cover his mouth with his glove after the out was recorded to hide his broad smile over the defensive effort. More >
"You know we keep playing games like this, we are going to be in a good spot." -- Sale
WHAT'S NEXT White Sox:Jose Quintana has given up just five earned runs over his last 19 innings pitched, but he has two losses and a no-decision to show for that work. He takes a 3-4 record and 2.39 ERA in 11 career Interleague starts into Wednesday's series finale..
Brewers:Jimmy Nelson set a pair of career highs in his last outing: He struck out 11 batters in his first double-digit outing in the Majors, but he also surrendered three home runs in a loss to the Cubs. He's held opponents to a .214 average, but the Brewers are 2-4 when he takes the mound. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. CT.