Extra bases: Sale back on the mound

May, 27, 2014
5/27/14
8:00
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Chris Sale turned in a masterpiece during his return from the disabled list Thursday. What will he do in his encore start Tuesday?

Sale (4-0, 1.89 ERA) will take the mound against the Cleveland Indians as the Chicago White Sox get back to night games for the first time in four days. It was under the lights Thursday against the New York Yankees when Sale gave up just one hit over six innings, throwing 86 pitches.

The left-hander is on a strict pitch count since returning from a strained flexor muscle that kept him on the shelf for five weeks. The count is expected to go up slightly, but manager Robin Ventura refuses to come clean about what number he has in mind.

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Sale will be facing the Indians for the second time this season. On April 11 at home, Sale’s five-inning outing was his shortest in five starts this season. He gave up three runs on six hits, but still picked up the victory.

Since then, he has been dominating, albeit in starts that were wrapped around his long DL stint. Sale gave up just one hit in seven innings against the Boston Red Sox on April 17 -- but needed 127 pitches to do it, and his arm soreness kept him out more than a month.

Sale has also struck out 10 batters in each of his past two starts, while opponents are batting just .049 (2-for-41) in those games.

Read all about it: Here is the Rapid Reaction from Sunday’s 6-2 victory over the Indians, in which Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run home run and Conor Gillaspie had four hits. Also, Gillaspie is learning to master the even-keel game.

Keep an eye on this: White Sox starters own a 2.86 ERA over the past seven games, with 41 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings, while also holding opponents to a .200 batting average.

Question of the day: Has it been surprising that the White Sox have been able to go 5-4 and score 36 runs in the nine games Jose Abreu has missed since going on the disabled list with ankle tendinitis?

Doug Padilla

Chicago White Sox beat reporter
Doug joined ESPN Chicago in July 2010 and covers the Chicago White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jose Abreu
BA HR RBI R
.317 36 107 80
OTHER LEADERS
HRJ. Abreu 36
RBIJ. Abreu 107
RA. Ramirez 82
OPSJ. Abreu .964
WC. Sale 12
ERAC. Sale 2.17
SOC. Sale 208