Left-hander Chris Sale already was assured of his second American League All-Star Game selection on the basis of his 2.78 ERA in his 16 starts. But how he is treated by All-Star manager Jim Leyland of Detroit is uncertain after an emotion-filled game Thursday in which the Chicago White Sox pulled away to a 6-3 win thanks to a grand slam by rookie Josh Phegley in the top of the sixth inning. Two batters after Phegley hit a slam off Anibal Sanchez that put the Sox ahead 5-3, reliever Luke Putkonen threw a pitch behind Alexei Ramirez, who took a few steps toward the mound. The benches and bullpens emptied, with Putkonen and Leyland ejected but Ramirez allowed to stay in the game. An irate Leyland, who already was upset after Sale threw a pitch high and tight to Prince Fielder after Miguel Cabrera hit his 30th home run in the bottom of the fifth, argued with the umpires for several minutes before leaving the field. That occurred after Leyland yelled in the direction of Sale. Ramirez, meanwhile, finished his at-bat by hitting a single off Al Alburquerque but left because of cramps in his right leg. The incidents shifted some of the attention away from Phegley, who hit his third home run and his first major league grand slam in his fifth game since joining the Sox from Triple-A Charlotte. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Phegley became the first Sox player with three homers in his first five career games since Magglio Ordonez in 1997, and Phegley became the first Sox player to hit have a grand slam within his first three career homers since Tyler Flowers in 2011. Sale (6-8) was charged with three runs in 6 2/3 innings while throwing a season-high 124 pitches for the second time this season. But he earned his first win since May 17 in snapping a six-game losing streak. Sale gave up a two-run home run to Matt Tuiasosopo in the bottom of the second.
Phegley's slam vaults Sox to 6-3 tension-filled win
Chicago Tribune | Jul 11