Smooth Sale-ing: Lefty dominates

Smooth Sale-ing: Lefty dominates

BOSTON -- Left-hander Chris Sale led the White Sox to their second consecutive 3-1 victory over the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Tuesday, becoming the first pitcher to 12 wins in the process.

Sale cruised through his first two innings, tossing only 22 pitches, before the Sox scratched out a run in the third on two singles and a sacrifice fly by Mookie Betts. Sale got out of the inning when Hanley Ramirez swung through an 83-mph slider with the bases loaded for strike three, allowing just one run.

After that, it was clear sailing. Sale hit Jackie Bradley Jr. to lead off the fourth, but the White Sox ace did not allow another baserunner until Travis Shaw's one-out double in the seventh. Sale stranded him there by retiring Sandy Leon and Deven Marrero, ending the day having allowed four hits, one walk and one run over seven innings, with nine strikeouts.

"It's a good lineup," Sale said. "I wasn't focused on this or that, just keeping the ball down knowing they are a good hitting team, especially at their house."

Rookie Tim Anderson staked him to as early a lead as possible, hitting his first career homer to left field on the first pitch of the night, a 91-mph fastball from Clay Buchholz. Adam Eaton followed up with a line drive off the Green Monster for a double on the very next pitch. He scored on a sacrifice fly to give the White Sox a 2-0 advantage.

"My arm was definitely loose, and I felt really good out there," Sale said. "I had good command, and confidence, too. Before I stepped on the field [Anderson] gives us the lead. It gives you a jolt, a spark and eases the tension to go out and throw strikes."

The only Boston player to have any success was Shaw, who had two of the Red Sox's four hits.

"He's very deceptive. He's got a powerful fastball," Shaw said. "Big tall guy, strides to the plate, gets on top of you quickly, slider can be wipeout, especially when he's throwing 'em for strikes early in the count. Kind of knew what you were going to get going into the ninth. … Unfortunately, we didn't get enough."

Sale's nine strikeouts were his most on the road since September 2015. He's 6-1 with a 2.03 ERA and 53 strikeouts over eight road starts this season, going at least seven innings in six of those outings.

Chicago hasn't won more than two games in a row since May, and White Sox manager Robin Ventura said he isn't thinking about that and instead is focusing on how hard the team is playing. Sale echoed his manager in that the team's confidence going forward is important and the White Sox aren't written off just yet.

"Well, we're not worried about what other people are saying about us," Sale said. "We know what we have in here, and we know what we can do with it. I don't know how to say it -- we're not in a terrible position, we're not in a great position. We're in the middle of the season where we're a hot streak away from being in first place."

Deesha Thosar is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston and covered the White Sox on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.