By The Sports Xchange
CHICAGO — White Sox ace Chris Sale fell short of earning his 15th victory before the All-Star break, struggling in Chicago’s 11-8 loss to the National League-worst Atlanta Braves on Friday night.
Sale (14-3) allowed three home runs as his five-game winning streak ended.
Braves starter Matt Wisler (4-8) wasn’t much sharper, but picked up the win, giving up six runs in five innings. Tyler Flowers and Jeff Francoeur each drove in three runs, and Adonis Garcia had a career-high four hits.
The Braves (30-57) scored three runs in the sixth to command an 11-6 lead. Atlanta racked up 15 hits, including eight extra-base hits, for a season-high 11 runs.
The White Sox (44-42) got three hits in the ninth, but managed to score just one run.
The White Sox became the first team to turn three triple plays in a season since 1979 (Boston and Oakland) in the third inning. After Chase d’Arnaud drew a leadoff walk and Gordon Beckham singled, Freddie Freeman hit a grounder that rookie shortstop Tim Anderson fielded.
Anderson tagged out the lead runner, stepped on second base and threw to first for the 6-3 triple play. The team’s other triple plays were on April 22 and May 18.
Sale, who leads the majors in victories, allowed a season-worst eight runs and 10 hits, including a career-high seven extra-base hits, in five innings.
The White Sox had won four of five games and five straight series.
Freeman hit a two-out solo home run, his 15th homer of the season, on Sale’s first pitch in the first inning.
Melky Cabrera tied the score with an RBI single in the bottom of the first.
Tyler Flowers hit a two-run home run off Sale, his former teammate, for a 3-1 Braves lead in the second.
The White Sox rallied for three runs in the bottom of the inning.
Carlos Sanchez doubled and took third on an error before he scored on a J.B. Shuck popup that fell among four fielders in shallow right field for a double. Adam Eaton drove in Shuck with a bunt that Wisler fielded and lost control of. Another run scored when Jose Abreu flied out to center, and Ender Inciarte didn’t immediately throw the ball, apparently thinking that was the third out.
The Braves tied it 4-4 on a Nick Markakis home run in the fourth. He has five home runs this season after hitting two against the Cubs.
Atlanta had three straight doubles in the fifth to score four runs for an 8-4 lead.
Eaton and Todd Frazier homered in the bottom of the fifth as the White Sox closed to 8-6.
NOTES: Braves RHP Julio Teheran will be able to make his start Saturday against the White Sox, manager Brian Snitker said. Teheran dealt with an infection in his right thigh earlier in the week. He also could be available for the All-Star Game on Tuesday in San Diego. … White Sox 3B Todd Frazier is seeded second in the home run derby on Monday. He is the defending champion. … White Sox 1B Justin Morneau (elbow surgery) was 2-for-11 with a triple, a walk and a run in four rehab games with Triple-A Charlotte entering Friday. His rehab will move to Double-A Birmingham on Monday because of Charlotte’s All-Star break.