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updated: 7/21/2014 11:47 PM

Ventura can't say enough about White Sox' ace

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  • White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale worked 7 innings Monday night and is now 9-1 with a 2.03 ERA after his victory over the Royals.

      White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale worked 7 innings Monday night and is now 9-1 with a 2.03 ERA after his victory over the Royals.
    Associated Press

  • White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale worked 7 innings Monday night and is now 9-1 with a 2.03 ERA after his victory over the Royals.

      White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale worked 7 innings Monday night and is now 9-1 with a 2.03 ERA after his victory over the Royals.
    Associated Press

 
 

As a manager, even as a player, Robin Ventura has little use for bombast.

But then a player like Chris Sale comes along, and Ventura speaks out much more than usual.

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On several occasions earlier this month, Ventura said if the American League wanted to win the All-Star Game, Sale had to be on the roster. Who cares if he missed nearly five weeks in the first half with a strained flexor muscle?

Sale wound up being an all-star for the third straight year, but for some reason he had to go the Final Vote route.

After Sale went out and did his thing again in the White Sox' 3-1 win over the Royals on Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field, Ventura was asked if his ace starting pitcher deserved Cy Young Award consideration.

"Oh, yeah," Ventura said. "Absolutely. There is no reason why he shouldn't be in the discussion. I don't care if you miss a month or not. I mean, he's good. That part, I don't care."

After pitching 7 innings against Kansas City and allowing 1 run on 7 hits to go with 8 strikeouts and 1 walk, Sale is 9-1 with a 2.03 ERA.

On the season, the 25-year-old lefty has 110 strikeouts -- and only 17 walks -- in 102 innings. And his 0.86 WHIP is the second lowest in the major leagues behind the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw (0.84). The Mariners' Felix Hernandez is third at 0.90.

If he stays healthy, there is little doubt Sale is going to be in the Cy Young conversation. Not surprisingly, he doesn't want to talk about it.

"Like I've always said, I don't really pay too much attention to any of that," he said. "I have a job to do, and I have to focus on doing that. We're right in the hunt right now. These are the dog days and you've got to bear down now. Now is not the time to be thinking about yourself or some whatever."

Even though the White Sox are 48-52, they have won three of four coming out of the all-star break, and Monday was the first of 13 straight games against teams from the AL Central.

The way Sale sees it, now is the time to finally put a run together.

"It's almost a new season from here on out," he said after making his seventh straight quality start. "This is the most important part of the season. I think getting a little time off helped everyone relax a little bit and then get back to it."

He always seems to say the right things, and Sale does the right things on the field as well.

After Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie hit Alexei Ramirez and Conor Gillaspie in the first inning, Sale drilled Danny Valencia on the left hand in the second.

Both benches were warned, and there were no further incidents.

"I think they handled it the right way," Guthrie said. "It's my fault that Danny got hit like that. Their guy went out and did the right thing in terms of the way you play the game.

"I wish (Sale) would have hit him lower in the body and not put his hand and face at risk, but at the end of the day their pitcher did the right thing and it's really my fault."

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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