Minneapolis, MN – Chris Sale tossed six scoreless innings and the Chicago White Sox took a 6-0 win over the Minnesota Twins to open a three- game set.
The win allowed Chicago to maintain its one-game lead over Detroit for first place in the AL Central. The Tigers took a 4-0 win over the Indians on Friday.
Sale (17-6) gave up just three hits and struck out five to win his second straight start. Dayan Viciedo drove in two while Kevin Youkilis hit a solo home run for the White Sox, who had just dropped two of three to Detroit.
"I just felt really good out there tonight and didn't let the little things get to me," said Sale. "All in all, it was a pretty great day out there for the whole team. We just need to keep this rolling and get into the playoffs."
Justin Morneau had two of the four hits for the Twins, who have lost three of their last four. Esmerling Vasquez (0-2) was charged with three runs on three hits along with four walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings of work.
"He was attacking the zone real well and got his pitches through," said Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire about Sale. "He threw strikes and we just couldn't get anything going against him."
Chicago got on board in the second when Alex Rios led off with a double, moved to third on an A.J. Pierzynski fly out, then came home on a Viciedo groundout.
In the fourth, with the bases loaded and one out, Viciedo worked a walk to bring in another run. Vasquez limited the damage by striking out Alexei Ramirez and getting Gordon Beckham to pop out.
Ramirez singled in a run in the sixth and the White Sox added two more runs in the seventh on Youkilis' home run, his 19th of the season, and an RBI single by Rios.
DeWayne Wise's sacrifice fly in the ninth made it a 6-0 game.
Sale, meanwhile, retired the first eight batters he faced before Pedro Florimon's single with two outs in the third and kept Minnesota from getting a runner past second base during his start.
Brett Myers pitched two perfect innings while Matt Thornton worked around a two-out single by Morneau in the ninth to finish the shutout.
Chicago has won 12 of the 16 games against Minnesota this season ... Sale has won all three of his starts against Minnesota this year, allowing just two runs over 20 innings while striking out 16.