MINNEAPOLIS — Chris Sale is enduring his version of a June swoon.
Sale, who entered Wednesday night’s game at Minnesota with an 0-3 record in June despite a 2.11 ERA, allowed a three-run home run to Brian Dozier and was pulled after five innings as the Sox lost 7-4 for their sixth defeat in their past seven games.
Sale, who threw a 124 pitches Friday night at Houston, recorded his first four outs on strikeouts before Oswaldo Arcia hit a hard one-hop grounder off his left side.After a walk to Clete Thomas, Sale collided with Pedro Florimon after covering first base. Sale received medical attention after both scrape-ups, but there was no preventive medicine for Dozier’s ensuing three-run homer.
Sale threw 101 pitches, and this marked his shortest outing since he threw only 4 1/3 innings at Cleveland on April 13.
Deunte Heath relieved Sale and allowed three runs in the sixth, capped by a two-run home run by Justin Morneau. The homer was Morneau’s first since April 28 against Texas.
Those runs came back to haunt the Sox, as they scored once in the seventh on a two-out double by Conor Gillaspie and single by Dayan Viciedo and twice in the eighth on a two-run single by Adam Dunn.
Alejandro De Aza led off the game with a home run that traveled an estimated 417 feet. De Aza’s homer was his ninth of the season and his eight career leadoff homer.
Since posting a 24-24 mark, the Sox have lost 16 of their past 21 games but remain 9 1/2 games out of first place in the American League Central for the fourth consecutive night.