ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Chris Sale struck out a career-high 15, Adam Dunn hit a two-run homer and the Chicago White Sox extended their winning streak to six games with a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday.Sale (6-2) gave up one run, three hits and walked two in 7 13 innings while finishing one strikeout shy of the team record. Jack Harshman struck out 16 against Boston on July 25, 1954.Sale struck out his 15th batter, Jose Molina, with a runner on third and two outs in the seventh. He retired his final batter, Rich Thompson, on a grounder to lead off the eighth.After Jesse Crain got the final two outs in the eighth, Addison Reed pitched the ninth for his fifth save.Chicago took a 2-1 lead during the sixth when Gordon Beckham singled and scored on Dunn's 16th homer. Dunn has gone deep 11 times in May.Matt Moore (1-5) allowed two runs and four hits over seven innings for Tampa Bay. The left-hander, who given up 19 runs over 19 2-3 innings in his previous four starts, struck out 10 and walked one.The White Sox had scored at least nine runs in each of their previous four games.Chicago's Paul Konerko, who entered hitting .399, went 1 for 4. He flared an opposite-field single to right during the ninth that extended his hitting streak to 14 games.Ben Zobrist singled, stole second and scored to put the Rays up 1-0 on Jose Lobaton's RBI single in the fourth. Lobaton was activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game after being out since April 13 due to right shoulder soreness.Zobrist, playing in right field, took a hit away from A.J. Pierzynski in the second with a diving catch.Tampa Bay's B.J. Upton went 0 for 4, including three strikeouts against Sale, and had his 10-game winning streak end.NOTES: White Sox GM Kenny Williams doesn't think LHP John Danks, who is on the 15-day DL with a left shoulder strain, will need a minor league rehab start. Danks could rejoin the rotation around June 5. ... Tampa Bay 3B Evan Longoria (partially tear left hamstring) increased his agility and running program, and continues taking batting practice and fielding grounder. ... Williams said attendance could impact the White Sox at the trade deadline. "If you can't monetarily make something work, sometimes you have to do it with a greater cost to your talent," Williams said. Chicago is averaging 20,663 this season at home. ... To make room for Lobaton, Tampa Bay optioned C Chris Gimenez to Triple-A Durham.
With only 60 games to play in the 2020 MLB season, it seems like there will be a three-team race to the top of the AL Central. To discuss and debate, Chuck Garfien is joined by Anthony Castrovince and Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com to discuss who will be crowned the division winner.
(4:30) - Is the AL Central a three-team race or will the Twins win it again?
(10:30) - Who will have the best hitting in the division?
(16:49) - Who has the best starting pitching?
(23:38) - Bullpen break down
(31:52) - Final rankings on who should win the AL Central
Listen here or below.
NBC Sports Chicago is simulating the 2020 White Sox season via MLB The Show during the postponement of play. The White Sox, stocked with young talent and veteran offseason acquisitions, were expected to take a big step forward in their rebuild this season. Follow along as we play out the first few months of the season.
Result: White Sox def. Blue Jays 7-1
Record: 51-36 this season, first in AL Central (3 games ahead of Twins)
W: Dallas Keuchel (5-5)
L: Hyun-Jin Ryu (9-4)
Game summary: The South Siders continued their three-game set vs the Blue Jays north of the border on Wednesday. And just like Canadian summers, their bats took a little longer than normal to warm up in this game.
Fortunately for the White Sox, they didn’t need a lot of runs early as Dallas Keuchel had his entire repertoire working. The veteran lefty, a frequent sore spot in the rotation this season, went eight innings while allowing just one run and striking out five batters. Sporting an ERA above 7 at times this year, Keuchel is now sitting at 5.90.
After just scoring just two runs through the first seven frames, the White Sox offense broke out in the eighth. Tim Anderson emerged from his power slump in a big way, hitting a three-run bomb to left. Then, Nomar Mazara also went deep, slugging his 17th homer of the season.
The White Sox winning streak is now at three games, the same total they lead the AL Central by as All-Star weekend approaches.
White Sox lineup:
Edwin Encarnacion: 0-4 (.311 BA)
Eloy Jimenez: 1-4, 2B (.251 BA)
Yoan Moncada: 1-5, HR (23), RBI, R (.278 BA)
Yasmani Grandal: 1-3, 2 BB, R (.309 BA)
Jose Abreu: 3-5, 2 2B, 2 R (.311 BA)
Tim Anderson: 1-5, HR (15), 3 RBI, R (.275 BA)
Luis Robert: 1-5, R (.256 BA)
Nick Madrigal: 1-3 (.283 BA)
Nomar Mazara: 2-4, HR (17), 2 RBI, R (.257 BA)
Yoan Moncada homered to left field. 1-0 CHW.
Nomar Mazara singled to left field, Luis Robert scored. 2-0 CHW.
Bo Bichette homered to left field. 2-1 CHW.
Tim Anderson homered to left field, Yasmani Grandal and Jose Abreu scored. 5-1 CHW.
Mazara homered to right field. 6-1 CHW.
Anderson reached on throwing error, Abreu scored. 7-1 CHW.
Notable performance: Mazara is the human embodiment of the saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Despite being in the nine-hole, Mazara has hit 16 homers and is ninh in the AL with 63 RBIs. There's no reason to move him elsewhere in the lineup.
Next game: Thursday, July 2 - Game 88: White Sox at Blue Jays (Dylan Cease, 4-4, 5.40 ERA vs Ryan Borucki, 6-4, 5.11 ERA)