By Bruce Levine-
CHICAGO (CBS) — It was a game that lived up to the hype of two ace pitchers throwing dominant games. Chris Sale and Max Scherzer both lived up too their reputations, throwing outstanding ballgames through seven innings.
Only a Victor Martinez solo home run in the fifth inning separated the two, as Sale struck out 10 in his seven innings of work.
Scherzer was masterful, allowing just three hits while throwing the first complete game of his career. Scherzer went 179 starts before throwing a shutout on Thursday evening
“He was great,” said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. “We only had a couple of shots at him. He walked a couple of guys early. We had a shot, but after Ramirez doubled (in the fourth inning) he was sharp”.
Sale was just as dominant as Scherzer, striking out 10 without surrendering a walk. With a pitch count of 115, he had to come out of the game after seven.
“He was dominant,” Sale said of his counterpart. “For a long time there, it was about who would flinch first. It was unfortunate it was me.”
The White Sox fell back to 3.5 games behind first place Detroit, who also picked up a game on second place Cleveland.
“He was very good tonight,” said Adam Eaton. “Early, I felt he had lost some of his command. Our hitters knowing how good he is chased a lot of pitches. Seemed like in the fifth inning, he really found his groove. He had it going tonight. I think his line speaks for itself.”
Sale went over 115 pitches for the second straight game, dispelling any fear about his arm being sound after spending 5 weeks on the disabled list with a forearm strain.
“I am feeling good and feeling strong,” said the hard luck loser. “It has been awhile since the incident (arm injury). I am feeling good, and trying to continue to build arm strength. That is how you build it. You are not going to build arm strength and get into a good place throwing 90 pitches every time out. I need to be out there and be the guy that throws 115, 120 pitches. That is what I signed up for ”
Sale recorded his 13th game with 10 or more strikeouts, which is third all time in Sox history.