Chris Sale was nearly perfect on Sunday night as the Chicago White Sox shut out the Los Angeles Angels 3-0 at U.S. Cellular Field. Sale took a perfect game into the seventh inning before Mike Trout singled to shallow center.
The Angels are off to a terrible start in 2013 and have dropped ten games back in the American League West. The Houston Astros are the only team in the American League behind the Angels at 10-28 to start the season.
Chris Sale had his best stuff working for him on Sunday and the Angels had no response for the talented lefthander. Sale pitched a complete game shutout for his fourth win of the season after striking out seven and giving up the lone hit to Trout.
Last season’s AL Rookie of the Year, Mike Trout, is considered the future of Major League Baseball though his team hasn’t played well to start the season. He’s hitting.284 through 37 games this year, a total of 42 points below his average of.326 last season that earned him one of the best rookie stat lines of all-time.
His numbers are sure to rise as the season moves on, but the Angels will have to pick up the pace if they hope to contend in the AL West. Chris Sale got the best of the struggling Angels’ lineup on Sunday though Trout broke up his no-hit bid in the seventh.
The 24-year-old didn’t need much run support and his White Sox’s teammates made it interesting before breaking it open in the bottom of the seventh. After a walk and a single, Alexei Ramirez drove in two runs with a single to left to make it 2-0 White Sox.
Alex Rios drove in Ramirez in the following at-bat with a double to extend the White Sox lead to three runs. Sale would take over from there and strike out two more Angels’ hitters over the final two innings.
Here’s Sale speaking with ESPN’s Buster Olney after his great outing against the Angels:
Chris Sale’s outstanding performance couldn’t have come at a better time, as he helped the White Sox avoid a sweep by the Angels. The White Sox have been mediocre of late and dropped to the bottom of the AL Central, though they are only five games back of the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians for first place.
Will Chris Sale’s near perfect game give the Chicago White Sox’s a boost leading into the heart of the 2013 MLB season?
[Image via Keith Allison]