Chris Sale throws eight shutout innings, lowers ERA to 2.05

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We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: White Sox starter Chris Sale needs his own video game.

The lanky left-hander threw eight innings of shutout ball on Saturday afternoon against the Astros, striking out seven and walking none as the Pale Hose rolled to a 10-1 victory. He now has a 0.92 WHIP, 76/18 K/BB ratio and an American League-best 2.05 ERA through 74 2/3 frames this season.

Adam Dunn hit a grand slam in the blowout win and Gordon Beckham contributed three runs batted in.

Sale has surrendered just three earned runs, fanned 36 batters and issued only six free passes in his last 31 1/3 innings of work. It’s crazy to think the White Sox had him in the bullpen at one point, and his success as a starter should be a message for the Reds and their own lanky southpaw (Aroldis Chapman).

For postgame reaction, including videos, check out WhiteSoxTalk at CSNChicago.com.

Report: The White Sox and Diamondbacks are in on Manny Machado

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Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the White Sox and Diamondbacks have emerged as two of the strongest contenders for Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. It seems like a foregone conclusion that Baltimore will deal their superstar infielder this winter, but nothing appears imminent just yet. While both the White Sox and D-backs have reportedly made serious offers, Orioles owner Peter Angelos is wary of any non-contending team that might be incentivized to flip Machado to the rival Yankees next season.

The White Sox, for their part, have assured the Orioles that they view Machado more as a solid one-year rental than the new face of their franchise, with no immediate plans to deal him elsewhere. Given their current rebuilding status and the unlikelihood that they would contend in 2018, it makes their offer a bit of a head-scratcher — and, as USA Today Sports’ Bob Nightengale points out, they’ve been reluctant to put any top-5 prospects on the table in preliminary negotiations.

The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, are far better positioned to enter the postseason in 2018, though that doesn’t automatically make them the perfect landing spot for Machado. They already have Jake Lamb stationed at third base, and while it’s not inconceivable that they could jettison the Ketel Marte/Chris Owings/Nick Ahmed shortstop platoon for someone of Machado’s talent, his $17 million salary appears to be more than the D-backs are currently capable of absorbing.

The White Sox and D-backs may have exhibited the most interest in Machado so far, but they’re hardly the only contenders here. MASN Sports’ Roch Kubatko maintains that the Cardinals and Yankees remain in discussions for the 25-year-old, with Cardinals’ RHP Jordan Hicks and catcher Carson Kelly drawing interest, as well as Yankees’ top prospect Gleyber Torres. Any deal involving the Yankees still feels like a long shot, however; as Craig mentioned on Wednesday, it makes sense that the club wouldn’t want to see their star player hanging around their division rivals in 2018, and the Yankees should be well prepared to make a run at him in free agency next winter.