Anderson flirts with cycle as Sale wins 17th

Anderson flirts with cycle as Sale wins 17th

CHICAGO -- Chris Sale matched his single-season career-high by picking up victory No. 17 Tuesday night during a 13-6 White Sox win over the Rays at U.S. Cellular Field. It marked the White Sox fourth straight win and kept that outside hope of reaching .500 alive at 76-81.

But even with Sale turning in his typical strong outing, he certainly didn't accomplish this feat on his own. The White Sox offense knocked out 14 hits, including eight for extra bases, as they guaranteed at least a split in this four-game set with Tampa Bay.

"Velocity-wise he didn't necessarily crank it up and get it going. On a few occasions he did," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Sale and the victory. "It was a manageable day and I think he did a great job of just … he wasn't really the strikeout guy. He was pitching to contact. I think once we scored some runs and the offense gave him a little cushion there, he just continued to pitch to contact."

Tim Anderson finished a triple short of the cycle, adding his eighth home run with two outs in the eighth and finishing with three RBIs. Adam Eaton, Melky Cabrera and Leury Garcia each made it halfway to the cycle. Garcia tripled in the second and then launched his first home run of the season in the third, a three-run blast off of starting and losing pitcher Alex Cobb. Eaton doubled and singled and scored two runs, and Cabrera homered and singled.

Anderson's RBI double

Cobb allowed eight runs on eight hits over three innings, striking out two and walking two. The White Sox scored three in the first, two in the second and three in the third.

Sale fanned seven over seven innings, giving him 227 strikeouts overall. In a season where Sale de-emphasized the strikeout, he has posted his second-highest single-season total. Sale allowed two runs on four straight hits in the second and Curt Casali's eighth homer leading off the fourth, but not much more.

"There were some not some good things, but there were also some good things offensively," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I liked the way we came back on Sale there. He's as good as anybody in baseball. And we had some young players in there today who took advantage of an opportunity and had some good at-bats against him."

Sale fans Casali in the 5th

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Master at work: Sale departed after 102 pitches, giving way to Chris Beck in the eighth. He finished off quality start No. 23 and raised his single-season innings high to 221 2/3. Sale also added one each to his season-high of hit batsmen (17) and home runs allowed (25).

"I've said it a lot of times before and I can't stress to you enough, how awesome the people I have in my corner helping me get back out there every fifth day," Sale said. "That starts in the offseason. It trickles into Spring Training.

"I thought we had a really good Spring Training mindset in getting just enough to where you feel good and this is what we wanted. We wanted me to feel good at the end of the year. I think we accomplished that goal. Unfortunately it's for nothing, but it still is what it is." More >

No waiting necessary: The White Sox were a triple short of the cycle during their first inning at-bats against Cobb. Eaton doubled, Anderson singled him home and Cabrera followed with a blast to right, giving him 14 homers and 82 RBIs. Cabrera has five home runs and 22 RBIs in September.

Melky's two-run homer

Slide Sali, Slide: With one out in the second and Mikie Mahtook on first, Casali doubled to left and decided to go for two. The throw beat the Rays catcher to the base, but when second baseman Carlos Sanchez went to make the tag, Casali slid past before reaching back to grab the base to complete his double. Alexei Ramirez then delivered a single to right to drive home Mahtook and Casali. In the fourth, Casali added a solo home run, his eighth of the season.

Casali's double

Cobb's season-ender: Cobb struggled from the beginning in his final start of the season, allowing eight runs on eight hits in three innings to take the loss. The right-hander, who returned from Tommy John surgery after missing all of 2015, finished the season at 1-2 with an 8.59 ERA in five starts.

"I know what I need to get to to be back to form," Cobb said. "... I think with an offseason, start from scratch, building back up, getting rid of the bad habits, I'll get there."

Cobb fans Sanchez

QUOTABLE
"It's tough maybe for him as a competitor to see that at that moment. But that's what we're first and foremost concerned with. That he got back, he's healthy. That was really the only goal." -- Cash on Cobb being a success just coming back from his Tommy John surgery this season

"I've said it a lot of times before, but no matter what you've done, where you've been, who you are, you can always be better. That doesn't always mean on the field, either. I'll just try to be better all the way around next year and hopefully make a push for meaningful games this time here." -- Sale

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Corey Dickerson is hitting .380 (27-for-71) with eight doubles, five home runs, 13 RBIs, three walks and seven runs scored over his last 19 games.

FIRST MAJOR LEAGUE HIT
Juniel Querecuto's two-run triple in the ninth gave the Rays infielder his first Major League hit.

"That was exciting," Cash said. "... Comes up with a guy on second and third and smokes a ball to the gap. So that's was outstanding to see. Happy for Q."

Querecuto's first big league hit

THREE, IT'S A MAGIC NUMBER
Anderson picked up his eighth three-plus hit game of the season. The White Sox are 8-0 in those contests.

UNDER REVIEW The Rays challenged after Dickerson was called out at first base in the ninth inning. After a review, the call was overturned.

Dickerson's RBI single

WHAT'S NEXT
Rays: Blake Snell (6-8, 3.65) makes his final start of his rookie season at 8:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday. The left-hander has great stuff, including really good secondary stuff that becomes even harder to hit if he's locating his fastball. Snell has not faced the White Sox.

White Sox: Miguel Gonzalez (4-8, 3.98) makes his final start of what turned out boe a strong opening campaign on the South Side. Gonzalez's stretch of three straight quality starts in September came to an end when the Indians got to him for four earned runs eight hits over 4 1/3 innings Friday. This will be his 23rd start and 24th appearance. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. CT.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.