The bad news for the White Sox is that Jose Abreu is still on the DL. The good news for the White Sox is that Chris Sale is back, and Chris Sale is dominating once again. In Chicago’s 3-2 win over the Yankees on Thursday night, Sale was perfect through 5 2/3 innings before he allowed a single to the second-to-last batter he faced. In his return, Sale struck out ten New York hitters, didn’t walk one, and induced twelve swings and misses on just 86 pitches. His fastball sat at 95, and touched 97 in the win. Yeah…he’s back, and just as good as ever.
Game of the Day: Rays 5, Athletics 2 (11 innings). Alex Cobb and Sonny Gray were both magnificent in this game, but were saddled with no decisions. The Rays held a 1-0 lead in the ninth, but Grant Balfour blew the save again, allowing a single, a walk, and a double to tie the game at one. Balfour also loaded the bases following that RBI double by Yoenis Cespedes, but induced a pair of fly outs to end the inning. The game remained knotted until the top of the eleventh, when Josh Donaldson led off the inning with a double and scored on a sac fly. In the bottom of the eleventh, Evan Longoria led off with a single against Dan Otero, but Otero quickly got the next two outs. He then gave up back to back singles to James Loney and Desmond Jennings to tie the game at two. Luke Gregerson replaced Otero, and he quickly allowed a walk off, three-run homer to Sean Rodriguez to end the game and give Tampa Bay a win they desperately needed.
Pitching Lines of the Night: I already mentioned Sale’s awesome lie, but here it is again: six innings, one hit, no runs, ten strikeouts, no walks. He’s baaaack! Alex Cobb and Sonny Gray both pitched gems in St. Pete, with Cobb giving up three hits over 6 2/3 shutout innings, walking a pair and striking out six, and Gray allowing one run on five hits in eight innings, walking two and striking out three. Henderson Alvarez pitched well for the Marlins in their 4-3 walk off win over the Phillies, giving up four hits over seven shutout innings, walking two and striking out three. Jake Arrieta pitched the Cubs to a 5-1 win in San Diego, allowing one run on four hits in six innings, walking one and striking out seven.
Hitting Lines of the Night: In Toronto’s 7-2 win over Boston, Jose Bautista went 3/5 with a homer, two runs, and two RBI. Ryan Flaherty had a nice game for the Orioles in their 8-7, 13 inning loss to the Indians, going 2/5 with a double and a three-run homer. In the win for Cleveland, Lonnie Chisenhall went 2/3 with a solo homer and two runs scored. Anthony Rizzo played well for the Cubs in San Diego, going 2/3 with a double and a two-run homer. Marcell Ozuna willed the Marlins to their win over the Phillies, going 2/4 with a two-run homer and two runs scored. Shane Robinson helped the Cardinals to a 4-2 win over the Diamondbacks, going 3/4 with a double, a run, and two RBI.
Other Games: The Rangers smashed the Tigers 9-2. The Pirates topped the Nationals 3-1. The Mets beat the Dodgers 5-3. The Mariners prevailed over the Astros 3-1. The Giants and Rockies played to a 2-2 tie through six, but rain claimed the rest of the game.
Today’s Games: Scott Kazmir starts for the A’s in Toronto. Clayton Kershaw gets the nod for the Dodgers in Philly. Anibal Sanchez and the Tigers host the Rangers. Jordan Zimmermann starts for the Nationals in Pittsburgh against Charlie Morton. Shelby Miller and Homer Bailey will duel in Cincinnati. Bartolo Colon and the Mets host the Diamondbacks. Marco Estrada and Tom Koehler will face off in Miami. Gavin Floyd and the Braves host the Rockies and Jordan Lyles. C.J. Wilson and the Angels host Danny Duffy and the Royals. Felix Hernandez and the Mariners host the Astros. Edwin Jackson starts for the Cubs in San Diego.
National TV: Cardinals-Reds (7 PM, MLB Network), Rangers-Tigers (7 PM, MLB Network)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.