Mar 10, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (49) pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers at Maryvale Baseball Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Sale Beats Kershaw in Battle of Aces


Saturday night in Glendale, Arizona brought a Spring Training match-up that baseball fans could thoroughly enjoy with a few days left before the season officially begins. 2013 NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw and White Sox ace Chris Sale dueled in a late-night tilt in the desert (which was also a commercial-free broadcast from Comcast SportsNet Chicago).  Sale threw 80 pitches (55 strikes) over 4 1/3 innings, while striking out five, as the Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-4.

Kershaw went 5 1/3 innings (86 pitches), allowed five runs on eight hits in his final spring start and with giving up a monster three-run home run to Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia in the sixth inning.  Sox lead-off man Adam Eaton also added a round-tripper off Kershaw, but his came in a little bit different fashion.

Although Sale and the Sox out-dueled Kershaw and the Dodgers in front of a sellout crowd of 13,232, Sale wasn’t exactly pleased with his performance on Saturday.

All in good humor from Sale of course.  After an up & down first inning, Sale settled in nicely over the next 3 1/3 innings.  It’s only mid-March, so obviously there’s plenty of time for improvement, especially from one of the game’s best southpaw pitchers.

Sale was asked about the comparisons with Kershaw, arguably the game’s best pitcher:

“Getting compared to a guy like him is a compliment to me. He’s the best in the game, without a doubt. There’s no question. It’s definitely something I appreciate but I have to go out and be myself.” -Chris Sale, WhiteSox.com/MLB.com

The Sox (6-7) take the field in Arizona again on Sunday against the Texas Rangers at 3:05 CT.  John Danks will start for the Good Guys against Texas ace Yu Darvish, who will be making his fourth start this spring.

Tags: Chicago White Sox Chris Sale Clayton Kershaw