Chris Sale has been the White Sox' one consistent bright light this season, but the left-handed ace has little to show for it.
Making his final start of the season Friday night against the Royals, Sale (11-14) took the loss after allowing 4 runs on 9 hits in 51⁄3 innings.
The White Sox fell to Kansas City 6-1 and are 62-98 with two more games to play.
"He's had a good year, but they (Royals) swung it pretty good tonight and that's part of the reason for taking him out early," manager Robin Ventura said. "He's one of the best pitchers in the league and we're lucky to have him."
Don't be fooled by Sale's losing record. The 24-year-old pitcher finished the year with a 3.07 ERA and 226 strikeouts in 2141⁄3 innings. Sale also has a 4.91 strikeout-to-walk ratio, a franchise record.
"You play this game for one reason and that's to win a championship," Sale said. "No matter what you do individually, you still strive for that championship and not being able to get there is tough. But you always have next year."
Following Friday night's 6-1 loss to the Royals at U.S. Cellular Field, the White Sox' "tragic" number is two. If the Sox drop the final two games of the season to Kansas City, they'll have 100 losses for the first time since 1970.
"Definitely shocked," Paul Konerko said. "It was pretty much the same group of guys as last year so I don't think anybody saw this coming. I know there are a lot of people who thought we overachieved last year, but I don't think they would have even said it was going to go this bad this year."
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General manager Rick Hahn made it official Friday -- Robin Ventura is coming back for his third year as White Sox manager in 2014.
Ventura is anxious for the current season to end so he can focus his energy on managing a competitive team next year.
"I want to be back and I think even for our conversations we've had dating back a little while is we're kind of playing for the future and assessing," Ventura said. "We start trading guys at the deadline, the rest of the season kind of becomes at that point evaluating and figuring out how to move forward. I'm motivated to be back and turn this around."