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Chris Sale looks good in White Sox spring debut

Updated: March 1, 2013 9:36PM



GOODYEAR, Ariz. — It was only March 1, but Chris Sale’s juices were flowing like it was Sept. 1.

Or April 1, when he likely will get the ball to pitch Opening Day.

Manager Robin Ventura is waiting to announce it.

“Not yet,” Ventura said. “We’ll wait. We’ll see how everything goes and make a decision later in the spring.”

For what it’s worth, Sale repeated Friday that it would be an honor to get the nod.

“Absolutely. It’s an honor,” Sale said “Throwing Opening Day, just the excitement that goes into Opening Day. I was a kid in the candy shop the last couple Opening Days [just watching], so to actually be playing would mean the world to me.”

Sale pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings in the White Sox’ 9-7 loss to the Cleveland Indians. Dayan Viciedo hit a tape-measure home run to left, and Brent Morel and shortstop prospect Marcus Semien also homered for the Sox (3-2-2).

“I definitely felt good out there,” Sale said. “The first inning was kind of sporadic. Just felt like I was going 1 million miles per hour. [Catcher] Hector [Gimenez] came out and said, ‘Slow it down.’ When I threw my offspeed stuff, it kind of slowed me down and got me back to where I was. Thanks to him, I was able to pull it out.

“As far as today went, it’s a good building block. I’m very satisfied with how it went. Obviously, there’s room for improvement in anything you do. But this is a good building point. Build from this and learn from this and try to go into the next one a little more.”

Sale threw 48 pitches, 29 for strikes. He walked one in a 30-pitch first inning, then finished strong with a perfect inning before allowing a bloop single to Nate Spears and striking out Michael Bourn for the second time to end his day.

“It’s just nice to see him out there,” Ventura said. “The guys you expect to be in the rotation get the juices flowing a little bit.”

Matt Carson hit a three-run homer against Sox prospect Erik Johnson.

Gimenez was 3-for-3, giving him five hits in seven at-bats.

INDIANS 9, WHITE SOX 7

FOR THE RECORD: The Sox (3-2-2) lost for the second consecutive day, but the good (Chris Sale’s first outing, home runs by Dayan Viciedo, Brent Morel and prospect Marcus Semien, catcher Hector Gimenez going 3-for-3) outweighed the bad (rough outings for pitchers Erik Johnson and Leyson Septimo and third baseman Josh Bell’s second and third errors of the spring).

SOX POWER: Viciedo hit a sinker that didn’t sink from Indians starter Justin Masterson, easily clearing a fence behind the lawn area beyond the left-field fence. ‘‘He swings hard,’’ Masterson said. Two batters later, Morel hit a two-run homer to left. Semien, who started at shortstop, hit a three-run homer to give the Sox a 7-5 lead.

TOP PLAY: Second-base prospect Carlos Sanchez made a diving stop on a grounder headed through the hole.

NOT AS NICE: Johnson, who had a crisp first outing, allowed four runs after retiring the first two batters in the fourth. He gave up five runs on five hits in 11/3 innings, including a three-run homer to Matt Carson.

ON DECK: at Cincinnati Reds, 2:05 p.m. (670-AM, whitesox.com). Left-hander Jose Quintana makes his first appearance of the spring. Bronson Arroyo will pitch for the Reds.



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