Chicago White Sox: Billy Pierce
April, 17, 2014
By Doug Padilla
CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox fell 3-1 to the Boston Red Sox on Thursday, losing a home series for the first time this season.
How it happened: The White Sox’s Chris Sale and the Red Sox’s Jon Lester were locked in a pitchers’ duel. Sale lost his no-hitter in the seventh inning on a home run by Xander Bogaerts. Lester lost his perfect game on a Tyler Flowers single in the seventh and his shutout on a run-scoring infield single from Adam Eaton. Boston’s David Ross had the go-ahead RBI double in a two-run ninth inning. Ronald Belisario took the loss, the bullpen's major league leading sixth defeat this season. Alexei Ramirez had a ninth-inning single to give him a franchise-record 16-game hit streak to start the season. He shared the mark at 15 with Frank Thomas.
What it means: Sale threw a career-high 127 pitches, an alarmingly large number considering he is the foundation on which the organization is trying to rebuild itself. What that total indicates, more than anything, is that there is little trust in the scuffling bullpen that entered with an AL-leading 38 walks and a league-worst 6.38 ERA.
Outside the box: Sale struck out 10 batters, the 11th time in his young career he has reached double digits in that department. It tied him with Billy Pierce for the fifth-most double-digit strikeout games in White Sox history. Sale reached his mark in 63 starts, while Pierce needed 390 starts to do it.
Off beat: Faced with few options out of the bullpen Thursday because of heavy work in Wednesday’s 14-inning game, Belisario had an extended outing that ultimately got away from him. The right-hander threw 32 pitches in his 1⅓ innings of work and added two more walks to give the bullpen a whopping 41 already this season.
Up next: The White Sox will send right-hander Felipe Paulino (0-1, 7.98 ERA) to the mound Friday against the Texas Rangers in the opener of a three-game series. Texas will counter with left-hander Martin Perez (2-0, 2.70) in the 7:05 p.m. start from Globe Life Park.