How it happened:Chris Sale needed 100 pitches to finish off his first complete game of the season. He gave up just two hits and struck out nine in the victory, his fifth of the season against no defeats. Paul Konerko had a home run and a two-run double to pace the White Sox’s offense. Konerko’s production came after he missed two games this week with a sore back. Tyler Flowers also hit a home run for the White Sox. The Padres’ only run came on a fifth-inning home run from Chase Headley that snapped Sale’s streak of 12 consecutive batters retired at the start of the game.
What it means: The White Sox had been stagnant on offense this week, despite a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians in the previous series. They had struck out 50 times in the five games before Sunday. Konerko’s home run was the White Sox’s first since Gordon Beckham went deep in the fifth inning of Tuesday’s game against the Indians.
Outside the box:Jose Abreu will return to the lineup Monday, although general manager Rick Hahn said that some obvious rust from two weeks on the bench is expected. Regardless of how he plays, Abreu is expected to give at least an emotional lift to the lineup. His 15 home runs and 42 RBIs still lead the team even though he hasn’t played since May 18.
Off beat: A football came out of the crowd and was in left field before the start of the ninth inning. Shortstop Alexei Ramirez went out and retrieved the football and then threw it to a security guard down the left-field line. His wobbly pass was dropped leading to a chorus of boos from the 23,185 still in attendance.
Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander Jose Quintana (3-4, 3.61 ERA) to the mound Monday at Los Angeles in the opener of a three-game series. The Dodgers will counter with left-hander Clayton Kershaw (3-2, 3.57) in the 9:10 p.m. start from Dodger Stadium.