Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale tips his cap to applauding fans as he leaves a baseball game during the ninth inning.
Chris Sale struck out 12 over eight-plus dominant innings and Avisail Garcia hit a three-run homer to lead the Chicago White Sox to a 6-1 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday night.
Garcia finished with three hits for the White Sox, who have won 10 of their last 12 games.
Sale (10-12) bounced back from an embarrassing start Friday night against Texas in which he allowed a career-worst four home runs. Against Houston, he gave up only one run on four hits and left to standing ovation after allowing his second walk of the game.
After posting a 1.93 ERA while winning his previous three starts, Sale matched a career high by allowing eight runs over seven innings in an 11-5 loss to Texas. He said he was also embarrassed by how he treated home plate umpire Jerry Layne and the emotions he displayed in the dugout.
Sale was more in control Wednesday night. The left-hander struck out the side in the first inning then got Robbie Grossman looking to end the third for his seventh strikeout. He struck out the side in the fifth, ending the inning by throwing a 96 mph fastball past Jonathan Villar.
Sale had his 22 2-3 scoreless innings streak snapped when Chris Carter hit a two-out solo shot in the seventh to tie the game 1-1. It was Carter's 26th of the season.
Sale became the first pitcher in White Sox history to have 12-plus strikeouts in four starts. He also dropped his ERA to 2.99.
Astros starter Jarred Cosart got by a shaky first to pitch six innings in a no-decision, allowing one run. He pitched around seven hits and five walks with four strikeouts.
Jeff Keppinger broke a one-all tie in the seventh with a sacrifice fly off Astros reliever Lucas Harrell (6-15). Harrell then allowed back-to-back walks and Garcia followed with his first home run with the White Sox to put them up 5-1. Garcia was acquired from the Tigers in part of three-team deal that sent Jake Peavy to the Red Sox.
The White Sox loaded the bases against Cosart in the first inning with no outs. After Dunn struck out, Konerko hit an RBI single. Cosart minimized the damage by getting Garcia to bounce into a double play.