White Sox general manager Rick Hahn believes Chris Sale “deserves’’ consideration for the Cy Young Award, though his won-loss record won’t get him much support.
“If we were in contention, he’s obviously in contention in that debate,’’ Hahn said.
Sale didn’t help himself Friday in a very off night on the mound—and in self-control.
The Sox saw their six-game win streak end in an 11-5 thumping by the Texas Rangers to start the home stand. Sale (9-12) tied his personal worst performance allowing eight runs—including four home runs among the Rangers’ eight hits.
The worst for Sale and manager Robin Ventura was an inside the park homer by Ian Kinsler in the third. The ball hit to left field rolled under the mats lining the side wall, and left fielder Dayan Viciedo didn’t know where it was.
Viciedo threw up his arms, then started crawling on the ground as Kinsler kept rounding the bases.
Sale was livid, and Ventura’s protests got him ejected for the second time this season.
“For me, usually when a guy is crawling on his hands and knees and looking for help, it makes sense [to rule ground rule double],’’ Ventura said—though nothing in the ground rules dictates that.
Sale had to be pushed away by third baseman Jeff Keppinger as Ventura argued with the umpires.
It was one of several emotional displays by the Sox lefty, who slammed his glove in the dugout as well—something he admitted later he “wished I could take back.’’
“There are two things I’m embarrassed about and that’s one of them, and the other thing was the way I was talking to [home plate umpire Jerry Layne]. He was just trying to calm me down. I wish I could take back what I said to him because he’s one of the good ones and I respect him.
“You want to and expect to do the best job every time you go out there,” he said. “When you don’t, and quite honestly get your rear end kicked around for seven innings, you get frustrated, and I was.
“Unfortunately, it came out and I’m embarrassed not only for myself but for my teammates. It’s one of those things you learn from and try to move on. Tonight I wore my emotions on my sleeves and I’m embarrassed by that.”
It was an emotional night in many respects for the Sox and the Rangers, who have seven ex-Chicago players. The most prominent is catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who made his first appearance in U.S. Cellular Field since being allowed to leave as a free agent after last season.
Pierzynski and Paul Konerko were the last players from the 2005 World Series team.
The Sox played a video tribute to Pierzynski in the first inning as the crowd cheered, and he waved to them in thanks.
“This obviously was a special place and I had a lot of great memories,’’ said Pierzynski, who had a single and RBI among the Rangers’ 11 hits. “It’s fun to come back and see everybody. It’s strange looking at it from this side.’’
Ex-Sox Alex Rios also was applauded and went 2-for-5 in his first appearance since being traded two weeks ago.
“I spent many years here. I have great memories of Chicago and the whole thing, so I’m looking forward to going out every day this series,’’ Rios said.
The Rangers made themselves at home, hitting a season-high five homers—and getting a pinch hit homer and inside the park homer in the same game for the first time in franchise history.
Sale gave up four of the homers, only the second time this season a Sox starter has done so.
The five homers also were a season high surrendered by Sox pitching.
“I wish I had something for them, but I have no excuses in my corner,’’ said Sale, who worked seven innings and struck out five. “My arm felt good, my body felt good, my mind was right. I felt like my stuff was good. Sometimes you get beat. I think tonight was one of those nights where they were better than I was.’’
The Sox trailed 4-0 in the second but got three runs back off rookie starter Martin Perez (7-3).
They added one in the fourth but didn’t score again until the ninth when Jordan Danks had an RBI double off reliever Ross Wolf.
The Rangers improved to a season-high 22 games above .500 at 75-33, their highest since 1996 when they also were 22 games above even.