White Sox 10, Blue Jays 1: Sale and offense cruise, and living is easy

Life with the White Sox as a juggernaut is still new and strange, but the adjustment gets easier day by day

1. When is the last time the White Sox offense made Chris Sale Day a side attraction? Facing familiar punching bag R.A. Dickey, the Sox slowly turned a leak into a flood, clinging to a 1-0 lead off a titantic Avisail Garcia home run into the fifth inning, and ending the night with 15 total hits, including at least one for every member of the batting order. The huge offensive night was the Sox first double-digit run effort of the young season, and gave the night off to a bullpen that’s been saving a lot of closely-fought pitching duels so far this season.

2. A big part of that night off was Sale, who cruised through eight easy innings of one-run ball in what is becoming reliably weird fashion. Sale spent most of the night with his fastball sitting 89-92 mph, seemingly looking to grab early strikes against a patient Blue Jays lineup, but that hardly explains all of his weirdness. He somehow worked his pitch-to-contact wizardry while his command was demonstratively failing him in the early going, and he walked two batters in the first two innings after not issuing a single free pass in his last two starts. Typically a master inducer of ugly swings, five of Sale’s six strikeouts on the night were looking, and four of those were batters staring at his loopy slurve.

Even when Sale looks hittable, or does inadvisable things like live by the flyball in the Rogers Centre against these Jays, they work for him this season. A seventh-inning moonshot by Edwin Encarnacion was the only proof that Toronto hitters were even allowed to hit Sale.

3. Garcia’s big night was part of a devastating barrage for the bottom of the Sox order. Garcia and Dioner Navarro both homered, and Austin Jackson finally had a big hit fall in with runners on when his double split the right-center gap with the bases juiced in the fifth.

The trio at the bottom of the lineup went 7-for-11 with two home runs, two walks, six runs and six RBIs. That’s usually a good sign a beatdown is going on.

4. Jose Abreu hardly looks out of his funk, but muscled an opposite field double to the wall, and picked up an RBI on a bounced turf single, which is more success than most get during the clear cut worst stretch of their career. Demotion candidate Garcia has passed him in OPS for the year.

5. Sale has never won five games in a single month before. He has two months where he’s posted an ERA better than his current 1.66 mark.


Team Record: 15-6

Next game is Wednesday at 6:07 p.m. CT at Toronto on CSN

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