Sale pitches 2-hit ball over 6 innings for
Glendale, Ariz., Chris Sale was disappointed after a pair of rough starts.
He rebounded by pitching two-hit ball over six innings and striking out six Monday as the Chicago White Sox lost to the Cincinnati Reds 1-0.
“I want to finish this spring strong,” Sale said. “My first couple (outings) were not where I wanted to be. It was nice to go out there and do what I did today.”
Sale allowed a one-out double to Zack Cozart in the first inning and a single to Cozart leading off the fourth. He retired his final eight batters.
“Obviously, it was my best outing of the spring,” Sale said. “I found a groove and kept going with it.
I wasn’t trying to throw the nastiest breaking ball I’ve ever thrown or throwing 100 miles an hour on every pitch. Just make pitches instead of trying to do something I’m not capable of doing.”
Sale, who had allowed eight runs in 7 1-3 innings in his previous two starts, is moving to the rotation following two seasons in the bullpen.
Reds starter Homer Bailey gave up three hits in four scoreless innings. He had allowed nine runs in his previous 71⁄3 innings.
“The big difference today, I was able to keep the ball down,” Bailey said. “My last game was the only one I was unhappy with. I thought I was going to go five, but they told me to take it easy. I went and threw some more in the bullpen. “
This is the best I’ve felt.”
Reds reliever Nick Masset threw a perfect fifth in his first appearance since March 7. He has dealt with a sore shoulder.
“It felt strange being out there, but it’s nice to be back,” Masset said. “I only threw six pitches, but it’s good to get out there.”
Each team finished with four hits. Wilson Valdez drove in the only run with a bunt single in the ninth inning after Daryl Jones walked and Miguel Cairo singled against Brian Bruney.
“We talked before the game about doing everything we can to win one-run games,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “We didn’t hit much, but we got just enough to win. Valdez is a smart player. He just wanted to stay out of the double play.”
NOTES: The White Sox optioned RHPs Anthony Carter, Simon Castro, Deunte Heath and Jhan Marinez; LHPs Pedro Hernandez, Charlie Leesman and Donnie Veal; and INF Ozzie Martinez to Triple-A Charlotte; optioned RHP Nestor Molina and LHP Jose Quintana to Double-A Birmingham; and reassigned C Michael Blanke, INF Tyler Kuhn and OFs Jared Mitchell and Trayce Thompson to their minor league camp. ... Brent Lillibridge replaced Alejandro De Aza in center field in the fourth inning. White Sox manager Robin Ventura wanted to get Lillibridge time in the outfield and some at-bats.