ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Even on the night he was selected to the American League All-Star team, Chris Sale's run of tough luck continued Saturday.
The Chicago White Sox left-hander lost 3-0 to the Tampa Bay Rays, his sixth straight loss during a seven-start stretch in which he has been supported by only nine runs.
"I know that this is part of the game," said Sale, who gave up two earned runs while striking out nine in seven innings.
"This isn't the first time this has ever happened, and we'll have to turn it around and get it right."
Matt Moore won his fourth consecutive start for the Rays, who have won seven of eight. Moore (12-3) gave up five hits, two walks and struck out six over 6 1-3 innings.
Fernando Rodney, the third Tampa Bay reliever, pitched the ninth for his 19th save, completing the six-hitter.
Sale (5-8) gave up six hits and a walk for the White Sox, who have lost eight of 10.
Despite giving up just 20 runs — 17 earned — over 49 1-3 innings since the end of May for a 3.10 ERA, Sale is 0-6 in those seven starts.
Luke Scott's RBI double in the second inning marked the first extra-base hit by a left-handed hitter off Sale this season.
"You can't expect him to blank everybody," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "He's pitching fine, competing and doing all the things you want him to do. It's just when you don't get any runs, it seems like it's wasted. We need to put some points on the board."
The White Sox wasted Jeff Keppinger's leadoff double in the second inning and squandered another opportunity in the third after getting their first two men on base. Adam Dunn's opposite-field blast off Joel Peralta with a man on was caught at the warning track in the eighth.
"Those are six games we should have won," Dunn said of Sale's losing streak. "When he holds a team each and every time he goes out there and we don't score any runs for him, I look at that as six games, or at least four or five, that we should have won."