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With 14 Ks, Chris Sale is a tough-luck loser

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Updated: July 16, 2013 6:34AM



HOUSTON — It would be easy for left-hander Chris Sale to blame his teammates, but he continues to show why he’ll be a leader in the clubhouse for years to come.

After striking out 14 and allowing no earned runs in eight innings, Sale refused to point fingers at an offense that could do nothing with Erik Bedard (2-3) or at shortstop Alexei Ramirez, whose two errors (along with a two-out walk) led to both runs for the 24-44 Astros.

“It’s tough,’’ said Sale, whose record (5-5) and ERA (2.43) dropped after this latest Sox loss. “Anytime you let one slip away like this … especially starting off a road trip.’’

Ramirez sat at his locker, head down, after the game. Manager Robin Ventura said both plays were plays that had to be made, and Ramirez knew it.

“He’s one of the best, and stuff like that happens,’’ Sale said. “He takes a lot of pride in what he does. You can’t expect perfection out of everybody all the time.’’

All-Star Robin

Ventura might have been looking forward to time off around the All-Star break, but he did not hesitate to jump at the opportunity to be an American League coach for the game at Citi Field in New York on July 16.

“There’s an obligation if you’re asked to do it,’’ said Ventura, who was named with Blue Jays manager John Gibbons by Tigers manager Jim Leyland. “As a player, guys should play in that. It’s important for the game. Anytime you’re asked to do it, you should honor it.’’

Ventura, who played for the New York Mets from 1999 to 2001, was a Sox All-Star in 1992 and a New York Yankee in 2002.

“It’s special,’’ he said. “Having played there, it makes it nice. But it’s always an honor anytime you get asked to do anything with the All-Star Game.’’

Last one standing

Paul Konerko is the only Sox player left from the 2005 team that won the World Series at Minute Maid Park.

“It was definitely a surreal thing,’’ said Konerko, pointing to where Steve (‘‘Don’t Stop Believin’ ’’) Perry stood in the visitors’ clubhouse after Game 4. “You see World Series celebrations growing up. Then you’re in the middle of one. You don’t know what to make of it because you won the whole thing. It was definitely cool, and it’s still the highlight of my career.’’

This and that

As expected, second-round draft choice Tyler Danish received the full slot value, $1,001,800, for signing with the Sox. Danish, a right-hander from Durant High School in Florida, was the 55th pick overall.

◆ Alejandro De Aza did not start because of a stomach ailment. De Aza went to the hospital to have it checked but is OK. Gordon Beckham (1-for-4) led off.

◆ Dewayne Wise (hamstring) has begun a rehab assignment at Class AAA Charlotte.



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