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Sale embarrassed in more ways than one

8/24/2013
Sox starter Chris Sale reacts to giving up an inside-the-park home run to the Rangers' Ian Kinsler. AP Photo/Paul Beaty

CHICAGO -- After a completely forgettable night, Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale believes his outing Saturday against the Texas Rangers might be more of a benefit if it stayed in his memory bank.

Sale matched a career high by giving up eight runs against the free-swinging Texas Rangers and turned surly from the early innings in an eventual 11-5 defeat. The loss ended the White Sox's six-game winning streak.

Wearing his emotion (mostly frustration) on his sleeve, Sale ended his rough night by slamming his glove repeatedly on the ledge above the bench in the White Sox dugout. During his outing, he barked at home-plate umpire Jerry Layne and shouted at third-base umpire Greg Gibson over a bizarre inside-the-park home-run call.

Afterward he seemed in contrast to his on-field demeanor, talking with ease while delivering a few exasperated smiles. It was more of how he wished he carried himself earlier in the evening.

“There are two things I’m pretty embarrassed about tonight and (slamming the glove) is definitely one of them,” Sale said. “The way I talked to Jerry behind the plate as well, when all he was trying to do was help me out and calm me down. I said some things to him that I wish I could take back and wish I didn’t say because he’s one of the good ones. I respect him a lot. I like him as an umpire and as a person.

“Those are the two things I wish I could take back but obviously people make mistakes and you learn from them and I will do my best to correct that.”

In a season when Sale has struggled for run support, leaving him with little margin for error in a majority of his outings, he never made excuses. He wasn’t about to start Friday.

“Yeah, wish I had something for (the Rangers),” he said. “I really have no excuses in my corner. My arm felt good, my body felt good, my mind was right. I felt like my stuff was good. Sometimes you just get beat. I think tonight was one of those nights where they were better than I was.”

Manager Robin Ventura, who was ejected in the third inning, said he never saw Sale’s temper-tantrum in the dugout, but didn’t feel it was a cause for concern.

“That's just him,” Ventura said. “It's been a rough year through certain parts. I think he really wasn't getting any run support. There's frustration with that. When you don't pitch well there's frustration with that too. There's nothing wrong with having fire like that.”

Well, Ventura did have one caveat.

“As long as you don't get hurt,” he said.

The only thing wounded Friday was Sale’s pride. He entered the night fifth in the American League with a 2.78 ERA and when his evening was complete that number had shot upward to 3.08. The last time Sale’s ERA had been above 3.00 was on May 6.

“You want to and expect to do the best job every time you go out there,” Sale said. “When you don’t do your best and quite honestly get your rear end kicked around for seven innings, you are going to get frustrated and I was.

“Unfortunately, it came out and I’m embarrassed not only for myself but for my teammates that had to see that. It’s one of those things you learn from and try to move on and whatever else comes from it.”

It’s a trait Sale has been working on this season.

“You have to corral that,” he said. “Me and (pitching coach Don Cooper) talk about that a lot: Use it, don’t abuse it. Tonight I think I definitely abused it. I wore my emotions on my sleeve and it came out. I’m embarrassed by that. It’s not something I like to do or an image I want people to think of me for. I’ll do the best I can with that and move forward.”