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All-Star start ‘would be thrill’ for Chris Sale

Chris Sale won’t be holding anything back.

Don Cooper knows this, which is why the White Sox’ protective pitching coach hopes Sale goes one inning and not two in the All-Star Game, which Sale probably deserves to start.

“I even asked him,’’ Cooper said. “I said, ‘What are you gonna be going with?’ And he said, ‘I’m gonna get after it.’ Makes sense.’’

Sale, named to his fifth All-Star team in five years – he hasn’t missed one since he became a starting pitcher – is a high-octane guy who has, with Cooper’s guidance, learned to hold back and take something off his velocity and effort levels for the greater good.

He’ll be pumped to the max when he faces the National League All-Stars in San Diego.

“I’m not going to reserve anything when I get in there,’’ Sale said. “I fully intend on letting it eat when I get out there, whenever that is. It’s hard not to. You’ve got a packed crowd, you’re facing the best, so you better bring it.’’

He hopes he’ll be bringing it to the National League’s leadoff batter.

Kansas City manager Ned Yost will name the starter on Monday. Sale, who makes his last start before the game Friday when the Sox host the Atlanta Braves, pitched in relief in 2012 in Kansas City (one scoreless inning), 2013 in New York (two perfect innings, two strikeouts, winning pitcher) and 2014 in Minnesota (one inning, one run).

A start would be “awesome,” he said.

“That would be such a thrill,’’ he said. “I’ve always been there and seen the start of the game and just everything that goes into it. I would be thrilled to do that.’’

The Sox powers that be, Cooper included, frowned on the idea of pitching Sale pitching in the game at Cincinnati last season, which is why Yost didn’t use him. Sale had thrown 115 pitches against the Cubs on the Saturday before the game. This time, he’ll have three days rest and won’t pitch again till next Sunday at the latest, five days after the Midsummer Classic.

Cooper knows Sale will give it everything he’s got “and that’s why I’m hoping it’s one inning getting after it rather than two. But after one if he wants another one and he says something to them, they give it to him … Chris has earned that one to kind of say what he’d like to do there.’’

For Sale, the honor isn’t getting old. He enjoys everything about the event, from watching the Home Run Derby with his young son on the field to celebrating it with extended family. When he didn’t pitch last year, he said he enjoyed “being a fan” but participating brings it “full circle.”

“It’s something that doesn’t come around very often,’’ Sale said. “I definitely appreciate this one as much as any. There’s nothing like the first one. I truly believe that. But I’m definitely very appreciative of the time and what it is. It’s a great time for everyone around Major League Baseball to get together and play a game.’’