- Andrew Marchand, ESPN Senior Writer
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CHICAGO -- White Sox ace Chris Sale and three relievers shut down the anemic Yankees offense until a ninth-inning rally.
Perfect Sale: Fresh off the DL, Sale was perfect through 5⅔ innings. His final line was six scoreless innings, one hit, 10 strikeouts and no walks. The strained flexor in his elbow appears to be healthy.
Imperfect lineup: Sale & Co. pitched well, but the Yankees aren't hitting against anyone so far on this trip, as we detailed on Wednesday.
In the three games in the Windy City, the Yankees have scored seven runs, most of which were gifted by the Cubs.
Ninth again: The Yankees rallied to win in the ninth against the Cubs on Wednesday. They tried to do it again Thursday.
In the ninth against Ronald Belisario, pinch hitter Ichiro Suzuki singled and Derek Jeter walked with one out. They moved to second and third on a passed ball. Mark Teixeira drove them home with a sharp single. Alfonso Soriano, though, looked at strike three to end it. Soriano, on the 3-2 count, thought it was a ball and started getting ready to go to first.
Zoiling perfection: No. 9 batter Zoilo Almonte broke up the perfection with a clean single to center with two outs in the sixth. Almonte would steal second, but Sale would leave him there by striking out his final batter, Jacoby Ellsbury.
Betances-like: Not only did Sale retire the first nine batters, he struck out six of them. They looked silly in the process as they just flailed at Sale's offerings with his slightly herky-jerky motion.
David does well versus Goliath: David Phelps was not Sale-good, but he was pretty good. Phelps went seven innings, allowing just two runs (earned) on six hits. He struck out eight and walked one. It was a wasted outing.
Two-out damage: In the second, the Sox put up a two-spot with a rally that started with no one on and two outs.
Phelps was even up 0-2 against Paul Konerko but couldn't put him away. Konerko eventually doubled. Next, Alejandro De Aza hit a ground-rule double for the first run. De Aza would score on an Adam Eaton single.
Not an Ace: Alfredo Aceves continues to struggle. He gave up a run in the eighth. He has given up at least a run in five of his seven appearances.
Candy Time: Well, the Yankees still have their Hi-Chew.