The Grand Slam: Chris Sale dominates Yankees in return from disabled list

Big League Stew

If you watched Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale throw Thursday night, you wouldn't know he hadn't started a game since April 17. The lanky lefty was his usual self, stifling the New York Yankees in his return from an arm injury. The White Sox won the game 3-2, their bullpen withstanding a late rally attempt by the Yanks.

Just how good was Sale? He sat down 18 of the 19 batters he faced and took a perfect game into the sixth inning. He struck out 10 too. Only Zoilo Almonte got a hit off Sale before he exited the game after the sixth. That was by design. The White Sox weren't going to push Sale too much, no matter how well he was pitching.

''I don't think I was ever more excited to give up a hit in my life,'' he said. ''(Manager Robin Ventura) said the same thing, 'You picked a bad night to do something like that.' It was all in fun, we were just joking around.''

Sale would have been finished after six, perfect game or not. The White Sox weren't about to stretch their best pitcher after about a five-week layoff, and he insisted he would not have lobbied to stay in even if it was still going.

''We have a plan,'' Sale said. ''We have something set in stone. I pitch to win. I don't pitch for no-hitters or perfect games. I would have fully understood. I wouldn't have liked it, but do I respect it? Absolutely.''

 The way Sale has looked at times the past two seasons, that no-hitter is coming one of these days.

Mark Buehrle now leads MLB with eight wins — if that sort of thing matters to you, and it still does to some fans. Buehrle improved to 8-1 on Thursday with another strong outing for the Toronto Blue Jays. He pitched seven innings of two-run ball, lowering his ERA to 2.16 along the way. The Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 7-2 to sweep a three-game series from the defending champs. The Jays also took over sole possession of first place in the AL East with the win, and that sort of thing does matter. Just not as much in May.

Oh, that wild AL West. The Seattle Mariners used a seventh-inning two-run infield single to secure a 3-1 win over the Houston Astros. That's something you don't see every day. Not the Astros losing, we know that's common. But the two-run infield single? That's something else. Michael Saunders hit a bouncer to first base with the bases loaded and two outs. Saunders barely — and we mean barely — beat Astros pitcher Tony Sipp to first base. Dustin Ackley and Stefen Romero both scored on the play, with Romero motoring around from second base. The play was challenged and upheld.

Yasiel Puig's spectacular catch is getting all the attention from Thursday's Mets-Dodgers game, but the New Yorkers deserve some credit for being the first team in a while to (sort of) beat up on Dodgers starter Zack Greinke. In their 5-3 win, the Mets scored three runs on four hits off Greinke in five innings. That may not sound particularly special, but it was actually the first time since last July that Greinke gave up more than two earned runs. That was 21 straight starts.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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