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updated: 5/28/2014 2:47 AM

Sale start a wash, but Sox outlast rain for win

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  • Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

      Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

 
 

Only one thing has been able to stop a healthy Chris Sale this season -- rain.

On top of his game again Tuesday night against Cleveland at U.S. Cellular Field, Sale held the Indians without a hit through the first 3 innings before the wet weather hit the South Side.

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Following a delay of 1 hour, 58 minutes, play resumed, but Sale's night ended early.

Scott Carroll, Scott Downs, Jake Petricka and Ronald Belisario relieved Sale, with Belisario retiring the side in order and nailing down the save in the White Sox' 2-1 victory.

Conor Gillaspie drove in the first run with an RBI single in the third inning. Gillaspie (1-for-2, 2 walks) is batting .355, and the Sox' unsung third baseman has hit safely in 30 of 33 games.

Gordon Beckham supplied the other run with a solo homer in the fifth inning.

As for Sale, he appears to be completely healthy after missing five weeks with a strained flexor muscle in his left arm.

The Sox' ace came off the disabled list Thursday and limited the Yankees to 1 hit over 6 scoreless innings striking out 10 and throwing 86 pitches. Against Cleveland, Sale had 4 more strikeouts while throwing 40 pitches before the rains came.

Sale obviously was being closely monitored in his first start back against New York last week, but as he continues to add strength and innings, that is likely to end.

"You want to make sure you feel comfortable about him going back out where you don't have training wheels on him; you just let him pitch," manager Robin Ventura said. "There's still part of having a little control or restraint on how many pitches he's going to throw, but he's still going to go out and pitch.

"He knows that going out there where he's at and having talked about, he knows where he needs to be at a certain point in the game and he can just go out and compete."

As he continues his rise to major-league superstar status, Sale (1.73 ERA) could get even better due to a changeup that is often times unhittable.

"Anybody that can throw a really good changeup, when you can back it up with a fastball, it just becomes a more effective pitch," Ventura said. "He has just gotten a better feel for it. Everybody knew about the fastball-slider. The slider is a really good pitch, too.

"But when you can start adding a third pitch that's a changeup that's that good, it becomes impressive where you watch him pitch and see him evolve.

"When you go through that second and third time through the lineup you're going to need something else, and that's something he has developed. He has a great feel for it."

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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