White Sox, Sale blank Twins to keep one-game lead

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MINNEAPOLIS — Chris Sale pitched six scoreless innings, Kevin Youkilis homered for the third time in two games, and the White Sox defeated the Minnesota Twins 6-0 on Friday night.

The result enabled the Sox (77-66) to maintain their one-game lead over the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central. The Tigers and Justin Verlander defeated the Cleveland Indians 4-0.

Sale and Verlander were supposed to face each other on Thursday night, but that game at U.S. Cellular Field was rained out and will be made up Monday afternoon in Chicago.

Sale (17-6, 2.78 ERA) was superb with three hits allowed and no walks. He struck out five and left after throwing 99 pitches with the Sox leading 5-0.

Brett Myers pitched two scoreless innings and Matt Thornton pitched a scoreless ninth.

Youkilis’ homer in the seventh made it 4-0, and Alex Rios drove in Dewayne Wise from second with a single to make it 5-0. Rios has 86 RBI, two behind team leader Adam Dunn.

Dayan Viciedo drove in two runs, the Sox’ first on a ground out to second that scored Rios (double), who had advanced on A.J. Pierzynski’s flyout to right; and their second run on a bases loaded walk by Twins stater Esmerling Vasquez (0-2) in the fourth. Alexei Ramirez had an RBI single in the sixth.

Wise hit a sacrifice fly that scored Gordon Beckham (single) in the ninth for the Sox’ sixth run.

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