Chicago, IL – Chris Sale tossed his first career complete game Sunday, allowing just two runs to lead the White Sox to a 4-2 victory over the Mariners in the finale of a three-game set at U.S. Cellular Field.
Sale (7-2), who fanned a career-high 15 batters in his last outing, finished with eight strikeouts and surrendered five hits and two walks to earn his fourth straight victory.
"He was great," remarked White Sox manager Robin Ventura about Sale. "He was jumping ahead and making guys swing and miss. He just keeps getting better, if there's any way to do that after 15 strikeouts."
Alex Rios knocked in a pair of runs, while Brent Lillibridge and Gordon Beckham each plated a run for the White Sox, who have won their last five series.
Kevin Millwood (3-5) was charged with all four runs on seven hits and five walks over four innings to absorb the loss. Miguel Olivo clubbed a two-run homer in the setback as the Mariners dropped to 1-5 against the White Sox this year.
"I wasn't locating my fastball very well," said Millwood. "They just found some holes and I walked too many guys. I just wasn't able to make pitches when I needed to."
Seattle plated two in the top of the second as Justin Smoak worked a leadoff walk and Olivo followed two batters later with a towering fly ball into the foliage in dead center field to give the Mariners a 2-0 lead.
Chicago responded in the bottom half by loading the bases on a pair of walks and a single by Alexei Ramirez. Millwood had Lillibridge down 0-2, but Lillibridge battled back to draw a walk to force in a run from third.
Millwood continued to struggle with his command in the third, walking Adam Dunn on four pitches to start the frame and then drilling Dayan Viciedo before Rios slapped a single up the middle to knot the game at 2-2.
Chicago then jumped in front in the fourth as Tyler Flowers and Eduardo Escobar stroked consecutive singles to start the frame.
Beckham followed two batters later with a line drive to left to plate Flowers for a one-run lead before Dunn was intentionally walked to load the bases.
After Viciedo flied out, Rios singled off the foot of Millwood to score Escobar and give the White Sox a 4-2 lead.
The Mariners are 3-16 at U.S. Cellular Field since 2008...Chicago outfielder Kosuke Fukudome left the game in the top of the third with a sore back...Chicago is 21-4 in its past 25 matchups with Seattle.