Chris Sale of the White Sox is having himself a spectacular season as a starter for Chicago.
|Chris Sale: 10-1|
A 6'6" lanky lefty, Sale allowed five hits and two walks, but struck out a batter in every inning, including a stretch from the fifth through seventh innings in which he fanned six of seven batters he faced, getting five of them swinging. He also struck out leadoff hitter, Danny Santana, three times and whiffed three other Minnesota victims twice each.
Daniel Webb pitched the ninth in the non-save situation, preserving the win and the blanking.
It was Sale's 10th win against just one loss. He threw 112 pitches, 79 of them for strikes. Sale's 1.88 ERA leads the American League, as does his 0.86 WHIP. He has 120 strikeouts in 16 starts, but trails many of the leaders in that department due to the fact that he missed over a month between mid-April and mid-May.
The fourth-place Sox currently trail the Tigers by eight games in the AL Central, but have taken three straight at Target field and will be looking for a four-game sweep of the Twins when the two teams wrap up the series at 2:10 pm EDT on Sunday.
Gregor Blanco singled off Kershaw with one out in the opening frame, but the Giants didn't get another hit until Mike Morse singled with two down in the seventh. Kershaw struck out seven and issued just two walks, throwing 78 of 113 pitches for strikes and getting ahead of 21 of the 30 batters he faced, with first pitch strikes.
Improving to 12-2, Kershaw leads the National League with a 1.76 ERA, and is tied with the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright with 12 wins, despite having started four fewer times than his St. Louis rival.
He and the Giants' Madison Bumgarner are tied for fifth in strikeouts with 141, but Kershaw is closing in on league-leader, Stephen Strasberg, who has 163.
The Dodgers, who have taken the first two games of the series in San Francisco, will be looking for the sweep when the series concludes Sunday night at 8:00 pm EDT. The game will be telecast nationally by ESPN.