Sale, Beckham help Sox into first-place tie

May, 2, 2012
5/02/12
12:30
AM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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It might be a little early to start handing out All-Star ballots, but Chicago White Sox starter Chris Sale is certainly opening up some eyes around the American League. Sale won his third game of the season on Tuesday, allowing just one run in six innings in a 7-2 victory over Cleveland.

The young left-hander was more excited about teammate Gordon Beckham's breakout three-hit game than his third win of the season.

[+] EnlargeChris Sale
David Banks/Getty ImagesWhite Sox starter Chris Sale gave up one run on three hits in six innings in Tuesday's win over the Indians.
“That was probably the [most fun] part of the game tonight watching Gordon go off,” Sale said. “He was taking good at-bats, taking good swings. Yeah, I think we got him back.”

Before the game manager Robin Ventura confirmed his belief in both Beckham and third baseman Brent Morel, who have been slumping with the bat since the season began. Ventura did say that at some point both needed to begin producing in order to remain starters.

“He swung it well,” Ventura said. “That’s just a part of believing in himself and that he keeps working at it. It’s just nice to see that it does pay off and that he hasn’t gone down that path of not believing in himself.”

Beckham not only hit his first home run of the season, he broke out of an 0-for-10 slump and doubled his RBI output from two to four. Beckham pointed to a good at-bat on Saturday night that may have jump started his offensive outburst on Tuesday.

“I battled in that at-bat,” Beckham said. “I didn’t feel great and knew that the game was on the line and did not give in, so that definitely was a good at-bat.”

A.J. Pierzynski started the White Sox scoring with his fifth home run of the season in the second inning of off Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez. Much like his teammates, Pierzynski was excited for Beckham.

“April is over and he and Albert Pujois went homer-less in April,” Pierzynski joked. “It was nice to see him get his first one out of the way. That should help him relax and use the whole field.”

With a record of 12-11 the Sox are in a three-way tie for first place in the AL Central with the Tigers and the Indians.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.17 208 174
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Abreu .317
HRJ. Abreu 36
RBIJ. Abreu 107
RA. Ramirez 82
OPSJ. Abreu .964
ERAC. Sale 2.17
SOC. Sale 208