Chris Sale made history Tuesday and the White Sox beat the Cardinals 2-1 on Tyler Flowers’ solo homer in the 11th inning.
Baseball’s best and hottest team had won seven straight and nine in a row at Busch Stadium coming in, but Flowers ended those streaks by hammering a Miguel Socolovich (2-1) pitch into the left-field seats.
Daniel Webb (1-0) retired the final two hitters in the 10th with a runner in scoring position to earn the win, and David Robertson survived a pair of two- out singles in the 11th to earn his 16th save.
Randal Grichuk went 3-for-5 and hit a homer on one of the few mistakes made by Sale, who recorded 12 strikeouts to join Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers in MLB history to strike out 10 or more batters in eight consecutive starts.
“I don’t really think about it that often,” Sale said of the record. “I still have a job to do.”
The hard-throwing lefty went eight strong innings, scattering six hits and one walk and also scored Chicago’s only run.
Cardinals starter Lance Lynn induced a double-play ground ball to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the second inning but caught a bad break the next frame when Jose Abreu’s bouncer up the middle hit the second base bag. Sale, who led off with his first big-league hit and moved to second on a groundout, scored easily as the ball rolled to the outfield.
Sale struck out five straight hitters before missing his spot on an 0-1 pitch to Grichuk leading off the fourth. Grichuk crushed the middle-in pitch off the Big Mac Land sign hanging in front of the upper deck in left field.
Grichuk solved Sale again in the sixth by legging out a leadoff double, but Sale retired the next three hitters — two by strikeout — to strand him on third.
“(Sale’s) throwing well right now and we couldn’t do a whole lot to change it,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
St. Louis went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.