CHICAGO (AP) — When Chris Sale pitches, it’s usually a short night for the bullpen.
But two rain delays cut the night short for the Chicago White Sox ace and the bullpen picked up the slack as four relievers combined to allow just one run in six innings in a 2-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday.
“That part isn’t good,” manager Robin Ventura said of Sale’s departure after just three innings and 40 pitches. “But Scott Carroll comes in and does a great job. Three scoreless and gets us to a point where we can get to some other guys.
“Scott (Downs) and Jake (Petricka) got through it, and then (Ronald Belisario) finished it off. It was a nice job by the bullpen again.”
Gordon Beckham homered and Conor Gillaspie singled home another run for all the offense the White Sox would need. Beckham finished 2 for 4, adding a double in the first inning.
Chicago has won eight of 12 to get back to .500 (27-27). The White Sox are 6-3 against Cleveland this season after losing 17 of 19 to their American League Central rival in 2013.
Mike Aviles went 1 for 2 with a walk and drove in Cleveland’s run.
Carroll (2-3) worked three scoreless innings in relief to get the win. Belisario worked a perfect ninth for his third save in five chances.
The anticipated matchup between Sale and Justin Masterson was washed out. The game began 41 minutes late because of rain and then was stopped again after the third inning. That delay lasted 1:58 and neither starter was able to continue.
“I knew once we got past the 45-minute mark, I was done,” Sale said of the second delay.
In his second start following a month on the disabled list with a flexor strain, Sale seemed headed for another special outing after allowing just one hit in six scoreless innings against the Yankees last week.
He was nearly perfect in his three innings, with the only blemish a one-out walk to Aviles in the third inning.
“I knew the rain was coming,” he said. “I just didn’t want to acquiesce to the conditions or the rain or anything that affected me so, I just wanted to stay the course, go out there like it was a normal one and do my part.”
The game started in dry conditions, but it began to rain in the third inning and picked up. Play continued for a while before the umpires called a halt to play after the third inning.
“It’s a long day; it’s a shorter day if you win,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We knew before the game that there was a chance it was going to come and interrupt the game. They were pretty honest with us and they didn’t want to not start it because you never know, kind of like Cleveland.”
Masterson (2-4) was able to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the first. The White Sox then touched him up for a run in the third inning when Gillaspie drove in Adam Eaton with a single to center.
Beckham made it 2-0 after the rain delay when he cranked solo homer leading off the fifth.
Cleveland got on the board in the seventh when Aviles hit into a fielder’s choice to score Lonnie Chisenhall.
Normally, losing Sale so early would be disastrous, but Chicago made it work.
“It’s always frustrating,” Ventura said. “On the good side, it helps him health-wise and he’ll be stronger the next time.”
Bad news for his next opponent.
NOTES: INF Jason Kipnis (strained right oblique) ended his rehab assignment Monday and rejoined the Indians before Tuesday’s game. He could have played, but the decision was made not to activate him until Wednesday. . White Sox RHP Felipe Paulino, who has been on the DL since April 19, was pulled off from his rehab assignment at Class AAA Charlotte because of shoulder soreness. . Indians OF Michael Brantley singled in the fourth to extend his hitting streak to 13 games . Cleveland’s T.J. House (0-1) takes on Hector Noesi (0-4) in the series finale Wednesday.