The White Sox and Orioles are playing a doubleheader today to make up for the games canceled last month due to the civil unrest in Baltimore. Game one was the Chris Sale show.
Sale pitched seven and two-thirds shutout innings, striking out 12 and allowing only four hits and no walks. It took him 120 pitches to get that far, but the O’s didn’t manage to touch him.
In support the Sox got two in the sixth thanks to a pair of doubles from Melky Cabrera and Adam Laroche. An insurance run was added in the ninth via a Tyler Flowers fielder’s choice.
Things got dicey for Chicago in the ninth as Chris Davis hit a two-run homer off of Zack Duke who had come in to close it out for Sale with two outs in the eighth. While that made it a ballgame it wasn’t enough as Jacob Petricka came in to get the final out to preserve the 3-2 White Sox win.
But today was all about Sale. Who, despite getting tattooed in a couple of late-April, early-May starts, has settled down nicely and is giving Chicago the ace-like performance they have come to expect.
Last night Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his right foot. That injury inspired the Cubs to go out and get another catcher. They acquired Martín Maldonado in a trade with Kansas City in exchange for lefty Mike Montgomery, in a deal that was announced after the Cubs loss to the Reds.
Maldonado, 32, was a Gold Glove winner in 2017 with the Angels. At the moment he’s hitting .227 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Obviously, though, defense is his calling card, as he’s a .220 career hitter with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 686 games.
Montgomery, 30, is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year. He’s heading back to where his pro career began. He was drafted by Kanas City in 2008, though he was traded away in the James Shields/Wade David/Wil Myers deal in 2012. He made his big league debut for Seattle in 2015. Dayton Moore said last night that the Royals plan to use Montgomery in the rotation as a replacement for Homer Bailey, who was dealt to Oakland on Sunday.