Sale first Sox starter to go five innings

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It was business as usual Monday for Chicago White Sox starter Chris Sale, who breezed through the Colorado Rockies lineup. Sale appeared unaffected by his newly acquired riches after signing a five-year, $32.5 million contract last week that could escalate to seven years and $60 million.

Sale’s command was so efficient that he ended up throwing five innings without getting to the 50-pitch count. He gave up one hit while becoming the first Sox starter this spring to go five innings.

“You obviously want to pitch to contact,” Sale said. “More times than not, when the ball is on the ground it is better.

“Any time I go out there I am concentrating on throwing strikes and attacking the zone. I don’t think I walked anyone.”

Sale started the sixth inning and was immediately taken deep by Rockies catcher Pablo Torrealba, ending his day.

Sale has given up one run on four hits in 7.1 innings (two Cactus League appearances) this spring.

Although Sox manager Robin Ventura has not named an opening day starter, Sale is on a schedule to be the choice with an extra day of rest before the home opener April 1.

“We are going to keep going and see how everyone does,” Ventura said. “We are not ready to (name a starter) yet. We will see how everybody is the next couple of weeks and go from there.”

The only other possible opening day starter would be Jake Peavy, who has endorsed Sale for the role all spring .