5/20/2014 8:41 P.M. ET
Petricka emerges from tight spot with first save
By Jackson Alexander / MLB.com
KANSAS CITY-- Jake Petricka was not eased into his first career save opportunity. No bases-empty start to the inning, no three-run cushion.
Instead, White Sox manager Robin Ventura called on Petricka in the bottom of the ninth of Chicago's 7-6 win over the Royals on Monday, with the White Sox leading by a run with one out, two men on base and Kansas City's cleanup hitter, Billy Butler, at the plate.
"I got thrown into a tough situation and I just treated it as the seventh or the eighth inning because runners were already on and we just had to get outs," Petricka said.
On the second pitch of the at-bat, Petricka lifted his left leg to start his windup, but spun toward second base, where pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson had veered too far off the bag. Third baseman Marcus Semien tagged Dyson out for the second out.
"In the game, [catcher Tyler] Flowers said, 'If I give you a certain sign, just be ready to do the spin move.' He gave me the sign, so I just knew beforehand that pitch wasn't coming home at all, so I just did my best to sell it to the runner like I was going home," Petricka said.
Ventura opted for Petricka in the tight spot because of his tendency to induce ground balls.
Petricka's 65.2 percent ground-ball rate ranks sixth in the Majors among pitchers with at least 20 innings.
Through 44 games, Butler's ground ball rate sits at a career-high 57.2 percent.
Petricka fell behind, 2-0, before working his way back and getting a ground out to second.
"The first two pitches, I tried to be too fine, and I kind of realized that and I thought, 'It's time to go after him and make him hit it,'" Petricka said.
Sale may return to face Yankees this weekend
KANSAS CITY-- White Sox manager Robin Ventura said that Chris Sale's return to the mound could come in Chicago's next series with the Yankees.
The White Sox haven't announced their scheduled starters for the upcoming four-game series with the Yankees that begins Thursday. Ventura said that Sale, who made his last start on April 17 because of a flexor muscle strain in his left arm, could be one of them.
"He threw free and easy enough to be able to be one of those guys," Ventura said.
Sale completed a successful bullpen session before Tuesday's game with the Royals, tossing roughly 20 pitches in his latest step toward returning from a month-long disabled list stint.
"I think it's another step in the right direction. I would see sometime in the near future him going back out there," Ventura said.
Ventura said that the club will evaluate Sale again before making any decisions.
Homecoming start a special night for Carroll
KANSAS CITY -- If you think there's pressure in playing in front of 100 friends and family, try a couple thousand from your hometown.
Those were the numbers for White Sox starter Scott Carroll when the Liberty, Mo., native made his homecoming start Monday night in Chicago's 7-6 win at Kansas City.
"With Liberty being close, it was cool to have everyone make it from the community and come out and support me," said Carroll, who allowed six runs in four innings. "It was just a blessing to be able to pitch out here in front of all of them."
Carroll last pitched in Kauffman Stadium during his senior year at Liberty High School in the Frank White Classic. Liberty won the game, as Carroll dominated, striking out 10 Oak Park batters.
"I remember as a high school student just walking on that field, just being like, 'Man, this is cool,' and just having that come full circle was just awesome," Carroll said.
Carroll grew up 20 minutes from Kauffman Stadium.
"I was a huge Royals fan, watching George Brett, Bo Jackson, Bret Saberhagen and all those guys," Carroll said. "There were some tough years as a Royals fan, but they were definitely fun to watch."
Jackson Alexander is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.