On any other night, Chris Sale is probably talking about his victory in the White Sox' postgame clubhouse.
But on Thursday night at U.S. Cellular Field, Sale had little choice but to talk about his mound opponent, Tigers ace Max Scherzer.
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"He was dominant," Sale said after Scherzer recorded the first complete game and shutout of his career in Detroit's 4-0 win. "That's about all you can say about him. You know coming into this who you are going up against and it's not going to be easy. For a long time there, it was who was going to flinch first. Unfortunately, it was me."
Sale made only one mistake during 7 stellar innings of his own, hanging a pitch in the fifth inning that Victor Martinez converted into a solo home run.
The Tigers added 3 more runs against relievers Jake Petricka and Daniel Webb, but with Scherzer (8-2) shutting down the Sox on 3 hits, it didn't really matter.
"He was good," said Gordon Beckham, who doubled with two outs in the eighth inning. "He had good stuff. It is what it is; he just had our number. He kept his pitch count low and was able to go the whole game. It would have been nice to knock him out but he was just too good tonight.
"Give him credit, I don't think we had two bad at-bats. We were up there battling, doing the right thing. It just didn't work out."
While lowering his ERA to 1.97 after allowing 1 run on 5 hits in 7 innings, Sale also had 10 strikeouts and didn't issue a walk.
"He threw a great game and made one mistake," manager Robin Ventura said. "That can happen in game like that, but he threw a great game. Again, when he pitches we feel like we have a chance to win. Some nights you run into a guy like Max where you don't get anything going, and that's what happened tonight."
Sale (5-1) struck out 10 or more for the 13th time in his career, not that the left-hander was impressed.
"I don't put too much emphasis on numbers and strikeouts and those kinds of things," Sale said. "It is what it is. Strike out 10, great. I'd like to strike out none and get a win. I'm not a big numbers guy. Doesn't really matter."
Tuesday night's game was rained out, so the White Sox missed a chance to sweep the abbreviated series from the first-place Tigers. They did settle for winning two of three.
"Shoot, (Scherzer) was very good tonight," Adam Eaton said. "Early, I felt like he lost some of his command but we as hitters knowing how good he is, we chased a lot of pitches. It seemed like the fourth, fifth inning he really found his groove and I feel like as hitters we felt that. He had it going tonight and I think the line speaks for itself.
"We took the series, we're happy with that, we're extremely happy with taking two out of three from a great ballclub over there. It was three very, very good starters, so that's what we can take away from this week."