Padres offense stifled in 4-1 loss to White Sox

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CHICAGO (AP) - Eric Stults says he doesn’t pay too much attention to the opposing pitchers during his starts.

But it was hard not to take notice of the way Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale threw on Sunday.

Sale pitched a two-hitter, Paul Konerko homered and the White Sox defeated the San Diego Padres 4-1 on Sunday.

“As an opposing pitcher you really don’t think about the other guy on the mound, Stults said.

“You want to go out and put zeroes up no matter who you’re throwing against.”

Sale (5-0) struck out nine, walked none and threw 100 pitches. He got Everth Cabrera for a called strike three to end the game, and retired the final 14 batters.

“I was trying to throw as many strikes as I could,” Sale said. “I knew this team was gonna come out swinging. Not only that, but quality pitches as well, just trying to keep the ball down.”

Stults (2-6) was encouraged by his performance despite the loss. He gave up four runs and five hits in six innings.

“Overall, stuff today was probably one of the best it’s been all year,” Stults said. “Just one of those days where you have good stuff, but the results just don’t line up.

His best was no match for Sale, who has allowed just two earned runs in his past 25 innings over four starts, and has a 1.59 ERA overall. The lefty was on the disabled list in late April because of a strained muscle in his pitching arm.

He was originally supposed to pitch Monday, but after a rain-shortened outing Tuesday the White Sox made the decision to bump his start a day and pitch him on normal rest.

“He was on today no doubt about it,” Padres manager Bud Black said. I think the rain-shortened start and then pitching on his regular turn, he was fresh.”

Konerko also doubled and drove in three runs as the White Sox won for the eighth time in 13 games to avoid a sweep at home

Sale retired 12 straight batters to start the game. He struck out four in the first two innings before the Padres began swinging early in the count.

“He’s got a great hits-to-innings pitch ratio,” Black said. “This guys an All-Star, one of the best pitchers in the game.”

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