Sale provides another winning answer

Updated 8/13/2013 12:57 AM
  • White Sox starter Chris Sale delivers on the way to his league-best fourth complete game Monday against the Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field.

    White Sox starter Chris Sale delivers on the way to his league-best fourth complete game Monday against the Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field. Associated Press

When looking to the future, which can't arrive fast enough for the White Sox, general manager Rick Hahn continually projects optimism based on a talented young pitching staff.

Hahn has a right to be excited, but there are some question marks:

Is John Danks ever going to be the same after having shoulder surgery last season?

For as surprisingly good as he's been for much of the past two years, is Jose Quintana going to evolve into a starter who is effective from the first day of the season to the last?

Will Hector Santiago, Andre Rienzo, Charlie Leesman and top prospects Erik Johnson and Scott Snodgress throw enough strikes to consistently keep them on the mound past the fifth inning?

We'll know more in the future on all of those counts.

For now, there is only one given in the Sox' starting rotation -- Chris Sale.

The 24-year-old lefty has been the ace since he moved out of the bullpen last season, and Sale keeps getting better.

In Monday night's 6-2 win over the Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field, Sale took over the American League lead with his fourth complete game of the season.

"He's the best lefty in the game," Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter said. "Today, he showed it. That slider is not fair at all. It's nasty."

Facing the second-highest scoring offense in the majors, Sale allowed 2 runs on 9 hits in 9 innings.

"It's always nice," Sale (8-11) said after lowering his ERA to 2.73. "It's always satisfying, especially knowing the workload our guys down in the pen have had as of late and all year. Any time you can finish what you started, it's always nice."

It was nice to get some run support as well, considering Sale came in with the lowest offensive backing (2.53 runs per game) in baseball.

"It's huge," Sale said. "It just shows that we started off a little bit slow and it just shows we are still fighting and scrapping and competing. We had some big hits by a lot of guys."

Konerko future:

Time will tell if Paul Konerko decides to play again in 2014 or retire.

Gordon Beckham is leaning toward the first option.

"I think if Paul wants to play, he'll play," said Beckham, who was 3-for-5 with 1 RBI in the Sox' win over Detroit. "Obviously, that's a decision for him after the season. He's got a lot more left in the tank so I wouldn't rule him out of playing next year. If he doesn't, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it but I think he's got a while yet."

Viciedo ailing:

Left fielder Dayan Viciedo sat of for the third straight game with a jammed left thumb, which he injured diving for a ball against the Yankees a week ago.

An MRI on the thumb was negative.

"I got it (MRI) done but they haven't told me exactly what was going on," Viciedo said through an interpreter. "I feel much better."

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