After tossing a one-hit shutout against the Angels in his last start on Sunday, Chris Sale got the best of them again last night.
Sale struck out a season-high 12 over 7 2/3 scoreless innings as the White Sox topped the Angels 3-0 at Angel Stadium. The 24-year-old southpaw gave up just three hits and walked three in the victory and extended his scoreless streak to 23 innings. That’s the best by a starter on the White Sox since Mark Buehrle (24 1/3 innings) in 2001.
C.J. Wilson, who has been outdueled by Sale in back-to-back starts, couldn’t help but marvel at the experience:
After finishing sixth in the American League Cy Young balloting last season in his first full year as a starting pitcher, Sale is making another strong push so far in 2013. Though nine starts, he’s 5-2 with a 2.53 ERA and 61/15 K/BB ratio in 64 innings.
The White Sox currently have a season-high four-game winning streak and sit 19-21 on the season, four games behind the Tigers and Indians in the American League Central.
Your Friday box scores:
Mets 3, Cubs 2
Blue Jays 0, Yankees 5
Reds 3, Phillies 5
Mariners 3, Indians 6 (10 innings)
Diamondbacks 9, Marlins 2
Rays 12, Orioles 10
Dodgers 5, Braves 8
Tigers 2, Rangers 1
Brewers 6, Cardinals 7
Red Sox 3, Twins 2 (10 innings)
Astros 4, Pirates 5
Giants 9, Rockies 10
Royals 1, Athletics 2
Nationals 6, Padres 5 (10 innings)
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.