Kansas City, MO – If anyone thought Chris Sale's magical season might come to a halt in the second half, it might be time to think otherwise.
Sale used some magic on Sunday by allowing one run despite 10 hits in eight innings, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Kansas City Royals, 2-1, to win a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium.
Now owning the AL's lowest earned run average at 2.11, Sale (11-2) has put together the league's longest win streak at eight, not having lost since these same Royals beat him on May 12. He's allowed one or fewer runs in nine of his 16 starts this season and stands right at the front of the Cy Young Award race.
Adam Dunn's MLB-leading 28th home run helped the White Sox to their seventh win in nine games, and Addison Reed recorded his 14th save.
"It's a big ballpark, but it's a nice ballpark and I didn't really get to play here last year," Dunn said. "It seems like I was banged up every time we came in. So this was my first time I really played here any significant time. It's nice. I enjoy it."
Luis Mendoza (3-6) pitched well enough to win for the Royals, but was dealt a hard-luck loss after giving up two runs, four hits and four walks in 7 1/3 frames.
Chris Getz's RBI single in the fifth accounted for Kansas City's only run, as the home team squandered plenty of opportunities throughout.
Chicago got all its offense early on Dunn's two-out blast in the first and a run-scoring double play groundout by Alexei Ramirez in the second. Two runs for Sale has usually been good enough, and he made sure it was again on Sunday.
Kansas City stranded a leadoff double in the second and runners on the corners in the third. In the fifth, the Royals finally put together a rally that put them on the board.
Mike Moustakas singled, went to second on a wild pitch and third on a groundout. Getz singled him home and moved to third with one out on an Alex Gordon single. Sale, though, recovered to strike out Alcides Escobar before inducing a groundout from Billy Butler to keep Chicago ahead, 2-1.
In the eighth, Sale allowed back-to-back singles to begin the inning. Just went it looked like Kansas City would tie the game, Lorenzo Cain lined out to left, and Yuniesky Betancourt hit a soft grounder back to Sale for an inning- ending double play.
"(Sale) had the slider working pretty good today," Cain said. "He just kept it low. It disappeared on us, but we just tried to battle and put a good swing on the ball. We didn't get it done today."
After the White Sox stranded the bases loaded in the ninth, the Royals put a runner at second with two outs, but Reed got Getz to ground out to end the game.
The White Sox are 6-0-1 in their last seven series ... Sale had been tied with Matt Harrison for the league's longest win streak ... Dunn tied Jim Edmonds for 54th on the all-time home run list with 393 ... The season series is tied, 3-3 ... The Royals dropped to 9-5 in the rubber match games of series this year.