ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Chris Sale ran his scoreless streak to 23 innings Friday and Alex Rios homered for the second straight game as the visiting Chicago White Sox won their season-high fourth straight game with a 3-0 victory against the Los Angeles Angels.
How it happened: Sale wasn't as unhittable as the last time he faced the Angels, but he was just as unbeatable. Six days after slinging a one-hit shutout against the Angels, Sale breezed through their batting order again, this time giving up three hits while striking out a season-high 12 in 7 2/3 innings. Sale received all the run support he would need on a first-inning solo home run by Rios, teased the Angels with two first-inning walks -- the first he surrendered in 17 2/3 innings -- then put the hammer down the rest of the way. He improved to 5-2 on the season, lowered his ERA to 2.53 and improved his career mark to 10-0 against the American League West.
What it means: The White Sox entered the day four games behind the Tigers and Indians in the American League Central, then fell to 4 1/2 back after Detroit edged the Rangers 2-1 and Cleveland beat the Mariners 6-3 on a three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning. The Sox don't face either team until late June, so they need to take care of business and hope for a little help along the way. Sale certainly did his part Friday.
Outside the box: Something about the month of May brings out the best in Rios. He came into Friday's game with his highest career average (.289), most home runs (37) and most RBIs (118) of any full regular-season month. He then went out and gave the White Sox a 1-0 lead with a home run for the second consecutive game and added a single in his second plate appearance and a walk in his third. His second base hit upped his average to .396 during his current hitting streak.
Off beat: Sale made his other career start against the Angels a year ago Friday at Angel Stadium, giving up one run -- a homer by Albert Pujols -- in 5 1/3 innings of a 6-1 victory by the White Sox. Sale is now 19-8 since that victory. Left-handers came into the game hitting 3-for-49 (.067) off Sale this season and struggling Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton had no chance against Sale, striking out on three pitches in his second and third at-bats.
Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander Hector Santiago (1-2, 2.23 ERA) to the mound in the third game of the four-game series. The Angels will counter with right-hander Joe Blanton (0-7, 6.46) in the 3:05 p.m. CT start from Angel Stadium.