ARLINGTON, Texas — Chris Sale’s 12-strikeout performance against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night put him in select company as one of six pitchers since 1965 to record 12 or more strikeouts in consecutive scoreless starts.
Sale, who pitched seven scoreless innings with 13 strikeouts in the White Sox’ 9-2 win Wednesday, fanned 12 Baltimore Orioles over 7 2/3 innings on May 28 in Baltimore and joined Chan Ho Park (2000), Hideo Nomo (1995), Roger Clemens (’87), Nolan Ryan (’78) and Sandy Koufax (’65) as only pitchers since 1965 to achieve that feat. Sale allowed four hits against the Orioles and three hits against the Rangers.
The 26-year-old lefthander’s streak of 19 2/3 scoreless innings extends to his 10-strikeout performance against the Minnesota Twins on May 18, a 4-3 White Sox loss.
Sale has struck out 10 or more batters a franchise-record 22 times in 95 starts and has done it in four of his last five. He has 12 games of 12 or more strikeouts, a franchise record and the most in the majors since 2012 according to STATS.
The Sox’ victory against the Rangers (24-27) on Wednesday evened their record on an 11-game road trip to 5-5. They close out the four-city swing at 7:05 p.m. with rookie left-hander Carlos Rodon (1-0, 3.45 ERA) facing Rangers right-hander Yovani Gallardo (5-6, 3.88).
Sale missed his Opening Day start because of an off-the-field foot injury. He went through a rough patch when he allowed nine runs over three innings against the Twins on his last start of April and five runs over 5 1/3 innings against the Tigers in his first start of May. Since then, Sale is 3-1 with a 1.40 ERA, 53 strikeouts and six walks over his last five outings. He has held opponents to a .144 batting average during that stretch.
“We all know it’s there, and I think he’s getting that feeling back,” manager Robin Ventura said. “Maybe there is something to not having as much spring training as he normally would have had because of his ankle. Maybe it’s all catching up and rhythm and everything is coming back.”
Sale is 5-2 with a 3.47 ERA.