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KC@CWS: Sale strikes out seven over nine innings

The Indians and White Sox continue to head in different directions as the calendar flips to August and Major League Baseball's dog days of summer begin.

Wednesday's walk-off win for the Indians was their season-high seventh victory in a row, 10th straight at home and 10th in 12 meetings against their division rivals.

For the White Sox, however, Wednesday marked their sixth straight loss.

Despite each team's play of late, Thursday's finale should provide one of the day's top pitching duels when Indians right-hander Justin Masterson faces White Sox left-hander Chris Sale.

The two All-Stars have much in common this season and might want to compare pitching lines once the year is done. Both Masterson and Sale are coming off outings in which they allowed only one run. Masterson earned the win, while Sale -- who went the distance -- was saddled with the loss.

The 24-year-old Sale held the Royals to only one run on Saturday in a complete-game gem, yet another sterling effort for the young ace. It was the 15th time Sale worked at least seven innings this season, but he is just 5-7 with a 1.96 ERA and .188 average against in those outings. The main reason is the lack of run support. Overall, Sale has received an average of 2.35 runs per game.

"I mean, just gotta stay on the positive," Sale said. "Can't get down on yourself or anyone else. Just keep grinding it out and things will turn around."

Masterson earned the victory his last time out by holding the Rangers to one hit in 7 2/3 innings -- the righty's third 1-0 win this season.

Masterson, who has a 1.27 ERA in his last three starts, is 3-0 with a 0.72 ERA in three starts -- two shutouts -- against the White Sox this season.

White Sox: Rios ready to play ball
When the non-waiver Trade Deadline passed Wednesday afternoon, right fielder Alex Rios remained a member of the White Sox despite be a popular name in the rumor mill for the better part of three weeks. The veteran said he was happy to still be with Chicago and was looking forward to focusing on baseball for here on out.

"Now, there's not going to be too much trade talks, and I think it's going to be just time to play ball," Rios said. "You have to wait until the end. The last couple of hours are the most active hours of the Deadline. So I just had to wait it out."

White Sox manager Robin Ventura also was glad to be rid of swirling rumors.

"Yeah, again, you get past this point and now the guys can just play," Ventura said. "I don't think there's any sitting around all day thinking about who's going where or anything like that. Or somebody is getting tapped on the shoulder. You just play."

• Left fielder Dayan Viciedo has a seven-game hitting streak (.433).

Indians: Pestano to Triple-A
The Indians made a "difficult decision" Wednesday to send right-handed reliever Vinnie Pestano to the Minor Leagues, where manager Terry Francona and the Cleveland front office are hopeful the righty will regain his form and be able to help the club later this season.

"We had talked to Vinnie about getting him out of that eighth-inning role," Francona said, "and trying to get him in a position where we could help him get some confidence and get some consistency. And, that was becoming a little harder and harder to do. We've played so many one-run games and so many close games.

"I guess we thought the best way to get him back to being Vinnie was to send him to Triple-A."

• Cleveland's rotation is 8-2 with a 2.15 ERA in the last 19 games.

Worth noting
• White Sox starters have a 2.00 ERA in their last six games -- all losses.

• The White Sox are 25 games below .500 for the first time since Sept. 11, 1989.

• The Indians are 11 games above .500 for the first time since June 5, 2011. Comments