Sale fans season-high 10 in complete game

White Sox ace unable to get team back in win column

Sale fans season-high 10 in complete game

DETROIT -- Normally a complete game with two earned runs makes for a very happy pitcher and a lively clubhouse. But for Chris Sale and the White Sox on Wednesday night in Detroit, it was disappointment.

Sale allowed two runs on six hits over eight innings in Chicago's 2-1 loss at Comerica Park. It was Sale's fourth complete game of the season and 12th of his career. But thanks to an eighth-inning, pinch-hit home run by J.D. Martinez, fresh of the DL, Sale took his third loss in four starts.

Sale racked up 10 strikeouts, reaching double digits for the first time this season. Eight of Sale's strikeouts came courtesy of his slider. He said he felt confident in his slider before the game, when he was throwing in the bullpen, because he felt as if he had a good release point on the pitch.

Catcher Dioner Navarro said the slider was a particularly important pitch for Sale Wednesday.

"The slider makes a difference, because he just comes out in the same arm slot, but he has that pop to it and he kind of gets hitters in front of it," Navarro said. "Especially when you're facing an offense like they've got, you've got to have it going like he was tonight."

He threw a two-seam fastball to Martinez that stayed over the middle of the plate. After the game, Sale said he had not seen the replay yet, but when he threw it, it seemed like a decent pitch. But, clearly, the location was not good enough, he said.

Sale's solid outing came opposite yet another quality start from rookie Michael Fulmer, who allowed one run -- a solo homer in the seventh -- in 6 2/3 innings for the Tigers.

"Really, it was kind of a classic pitchers' duel. Sale was outstanding, too," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "He did a real nice job, but Fulmer matched him the entire time."

The White Sox have lost six of their last seven games -- all on the road -- after having won five straight at home.

As frustrating as things may be, Sale said now is the time the Sox have to buckle down if they want to stay in any sort of a postseason hunt.

"We've just got to keep chipping away, keep grinding," he said. "We can't cash it in now. It's going to stink a whole lot more if you do that. So we come in tomorrow, try to start a new streak to get on the right foot and get us going when we get back home."

Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.