ChiSox clobber Oswalt; Sale strong again in 19-2 rout
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - After allowing a career-high 13 hits his last time out, Rangers starter Roy Oswalt matched that total and set a new standard in runs allowed Tuesday.
Chicago hurler Chris Sale, meanwhile, made his pitch toward a possible start in next week's All-Star Game with American League manager Ron Washington watching from the opposing dugout.
Sale sailed into the eighth, while Kevin Youkilis smacked his first homer as a member of the White Sox as Chicago trounced Texas, 19-2, in the opener of a three-game set.
Sale (10-2) surrendered a run on five hits and a walk while fanning four in 7 1/3 innings. The 23-year-old left-hander is 7-0 with a minuscule 1.67 ERA over his last nine starts.
"He pitched, changed speeds, didn't just use his fastball," Texas manager Ron Washington said of Sale. "We didn't do much against him...that's why he's 10-2, he's a pretty good pitcher."
Youkilis and Adam Dunn cracked back-to-back long balls in a three-homer opening frame. Alex Rios tallied the other, and A.J. Pierzynski cracked a round-tripper as part of a nine-run fifth for the AL Central leaders, who have won seven of their last 10 games. They racked up a season-high 21 hits in the blowout win.
"Great for our lineup, great for our team to have him in here," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Youkilis. "You get a lot more than just numbers...you get a good player that people feed off of and he makes your team better in a lot of ways."
In his first home game with Chicago since his trade from Boston on June 24, Youkilis had three hits and drove in four.
In his third start since making his Texas debut on June 22, Oswalt (2-1) was shelled for a career-high 11 runs -- nine earned -- on 13 hits and a walk in just 4 2/3 innings. The 34-year-old had won his first two starts despite giving up at least nine hits in each outing.
Despite the poor start, Oswalt remained optimistic.
"I feel better, third game back," Oswalt said. "I feel better and better every time I go out there...velocity is coming back...I kept the ball down a little more."
Chicago jumped all over Oswalt and Texas early, plating four in the first and three more in the second.
Alejandro De Aza slapped a leadoff single in the first and Youkilis followed with a two-run shot over the wall in left. Dunn then stroked his 25th bomb into the seats in right-center and Rios pulverized a solo homer into the bleachers in left-center for a 4-0 White Sox advantage.
Youkilis rolled a run-scoring base hit into left, Dunn added an RBI double and Paul Konerko registered an RBI single in the second, pushing the Chicago lead to 7-0.
The White Sox turned the game into a laugher following their nine-run fifth. Pierzynski hit a three-run shot, Alexei Ramirez and Rios both poked two-run singles, and Youkilis and Konerko each tallied run-scoring base hits in the frame.
Eduardo Escobar and Dayan Viciedo both scored on wild pitches and Jordan Danks lifted a sacrifice fly in a three-run seventh, while the Rangers finally got on the board in the eighth on Elvis Andrus' two-run double.
It was the 11th time in 15 starts that Sale allowed two or fewer earned runs...De Aza, Youkilis, Dunn and Rios scored three runs apiece...Rios had three RBI, while Konerko added two hits, two RBI and a run scored...Chicago was 10-for-15 with runners in scoring position, while Texas finished 1-for-7.