The Baltimore Orioles beat Chris Sale in a way that no team has beat him this year - with the long ball.
The O's became the first team in the 2014 season to hit multiple home runs off Sale in a single game and went on to win by a score of 8-2.
Baltimore worked a 3-0 lead against Sale with a pair of solo home runs sandwiching a Steve Pearce RBI double. JJ Hardy went deep in the second inning to start the scoring. And then Nelson Cruz homered against the nasty left-hander in the fifth.
Cruz's blast made the score 3-0 and carried some significance in more ways than one. Not only did it give Baltimore multiple home runs in a game against Sale, but it also gave Cruz sole possession of first place on the American League home run leader board. Cruz's 32nd home run of the season broke a tie with the White Sox's own Jose Abreu.
With only nine home runs allowed on the season coming into Monday's game, Sale made two mistakes that the MLB's most prolific home run hitting team made him pay for. The Orioles entered the night with 154 home runs as the team to lead the Major's. That total was 13 higher than the next best team total. Sale did give up multiple home runs in a game late last season, when he surrendered three homers to the Cleveland Indians in his third-to-last start of the season. That came on September 15.
The White Sox fought back in the seventh with two runs of their own on an Avisail Garcia two-run single. But Chicago's bullpen has been less than supportive of Chris Sale this season. And that did not change on Monday night.
The 'pen coughed up a five-run eighth inning that pretty much eliminated any chance of the White Sox coming back to get Sale off the hook. The Chicago bullpen numbers in Sale starts are absolutely ridiculous this season.
In fact, it has allowed more runs in Sale's starts than Sale himself. In 42.2 innings, Chicago's bullpen has given up 36 runs following Sale's departure. Meanwhile, Sale has given up just 34 in nearly three times as many innings (136). Yet, Sale has still managed a 10-3 record that could be a lot better.
The win for Baltimore gives the Orioles a 7.5-game lead in the AL East, which is the largest lead in baseball.