White Sox starter Chris Sale flirted with perfection but settled for eight shutout innings and 14 strikeouts against the Rangers on Friday night. He held the opposition to two hits and did not issue a walk. The lefty lost his bid for a perfect game with two outs in the sixth inning when Hanser Alberto singled to center. David Robertson came on in the ninth inning but loaded the bases, then gave up two runs to erase a 1-0 lead and take Sale out of the running for the win.
Sale has now struck out double-digit batters in six consecutive starts. According to Baseball Reference’s Play Index, there had been only 10 other instances in which a pitcher accomplished the feat. Pedro Martinez did it on three occasions and has the longest streak at 10 starts. Randy Johnson struck out 10-plus batters in seven consecutive starts once and in six consecutive starts on four other occasions. Nolan Ryan had a seven-game streak and a six-game streak.
Sale, over his last six starts, has a 1.19 ERA with a 75/7 K/BB ratio over 45 1/3 innings.