Angels catcher Chris Iannetta doesn't like tipping his hat to anyone. But after Chris Sale one-hit Los Angeles on Sunday, Iannetta showed his appreciation for the White Sox ace's performance.
"Sale pitched a great game against us," Iannetta said. "He was lights-out. He made a ton of pitches, his stuff was nasty, great job by him."
Iannetta and his teammates will get another crack at Sale on Friday, when the Angels and White Sox play the second game of their four-game set in Anaheim. The bill on Friday is an exact rematch of Sunday's marquee matchup in Chicago between Sale and C.J. Wilson.
Sale took a perfect game into the seventh inning and finished what he started by going the distance even after his bid at history was disrupted. The only base hit he allowed was a one-out single in the seventh by Mike Trout. Sale's game plan on Friday will differ from the one he took into Sunday's game, but he's not looking to reinvent the wheel. He threw fewer sliders in his last outing, instead relying on his changeup as an out pitch. That worked, so the minor changes may simply be when he decides to throw what pitch in specific counts.
"I want to take the positives and what worked, but a lineup like this, with the hitters they have, you have to change it up," Sale said. "I can't go out there throwing the same things in the same counts and expect the same results."
Sale's terrific outing somewhat overshadowed Wilson's performance on Sunday, when he threw his third straight quality start. He held the White Sox scoreless for six innings before they finally blemished his line for three runs on six hits and he was replaced after 6 2/3 innings.
Wilson will be tasked with changing the momentum of the series after the White Sox won a close one on Thursday. Angels reliever Michael Kohn issued back-to-back-to-back walks to send Adam Dunn, the winning run, to the plate in the 5-4 Chicago win.
But taking back this matchup won't be easy with Sale pitching the way he has over the last month. Since his start on April 18, he's 4-1 with a 1.69 ERA and he's holding opponents to a .162 batting average.
Iannetta understands the challenge ahead of him.
"In baseball, it's all about execution. If he goes out and executes the same way he did last time, it's going to be a really tough day," Iannetta said. "That's not to say we can't win the game and score a couple runs, but it's tough when a pitcher executes, no matter who it is."
White Sox: Sale's dental work
It turns out, Sale actually pitched Sunday's one-hitter with an abscessed tooth. He had to get his cracked tooth pulled after he bit into something on a plane ride from New York to Chicago returning from a road series.
Sale was a little loopy this week and said the dentist that performed the surgery was a Twins fan, but everything turned out OK.
Angels: Brasier and Buckner join team
The Angels continued to usher relievers out of town and call up fresh blood. On Thursday, Los Angeles promoted Ryan Brasier and Billy Buckner to the Major League club. They correspondingly optioned Michael Roth and designated Barry Enright for assignment.
Buckner was 4-2 with a 4.56 ERA in eight starts with Triple-A Salt Lake, while Brasier will be making his second appearance with the Major League club this year. Earlier in the season, he pitched two innings and allowed two earned runs. Buckner will be the 21st pitcher the Angels have used this season.
Ethan Asofsky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.