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Rain washes out Sox-Cubs South Side finale

Sale gives up homer before postponement; no makeup date announced

CHICAGO -- Chris Sale gave up a two-run homer to Welington Castillo in the second inning of Tuesday's contest with the Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field.

Yet, the left-hander's 23-innings scoreless streak remained intact.

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That Castillo long ball never counted, as the game was postponed due to severe thunderstorms rolling through the area, with the Cubs holding a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Heavy rain started just before 8 p.m. CT and didn't show any signs of letting up.

"We didn't see that one coming," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of the hard rain arriving about 45 minutes after Sale threw his first pitch to Julio Borbon. "There was no way you would throw Sailer out there thinking this is going to happen. It's just one of those things where it fills in. You just hope everybody gets home safe."

No makeup date was announced, although both teams have a trio of common off-days before the All-Star break. On Monday, June 24, the White Sox will be coming home from Kansas City and host the Mets immediately after. The Cubs already will be in Chicago and go to Milwaukee for a series starting on June 25. Using that particular makeup date, though, means the Cubs will end up playing 24 straight games.

Both teams also are off on July 1 and July 8. The Cubs start a series in Oakland on July 2, while July 8 comes in the middle of the White Sox three-city nine-game road trip to end the first half.

About the only thing certain as of Tuesday was that more rain was forecast for Wednesday, and that the White Sox were keeping their starting rotation in order behind John Danks on Wednesday and Jake Peavy on Thursday at Wrigley Field against the North Siders.

Ventura said that a split doubleheader with an afternoon game at Wrigley Field on Wednesday and a night game at U.S. Cellular Field on Wednesday night was not discussed. The Blackhawks host the Red Wings on Wednesday in a deciding Game 7 of their Western Conference semifinal series.

"If something happened in the next couple of days, you never know what's going to happen," Ventura said. "It could happen. It's happened at other places, so it wouldn't be out of the question I'm sure."

Sale had his start skipped last Wednesday due to a mild case of shoulder tendinitis and hadn't pitched since May 17 in Anaheim, but he cruised through the first inning on eight pitches and hit 96 mph three times on the radar gun. But Scott Hairston doubled with one out in the second, and Castillo followed with his second homer on an 0-1 pitch.

A possibility exists that Sale could come back early this weekend in Oakland after throwing 26 of his 37 pitches for strikes.

"I'm game for anything. I pretty much look at this as an extended bullpen," Sale said. "I don't think I threw more than 40 pitches. I should be able to bounce back pretty quick."

"In a day or two we'll see what we do," White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said. "Right now it's going to stay in order. That may change tomorrow."

Cubs starter Edwin Jackson had what looked to be some of his best stuff this season, allowing just one Conor Gillaspie single to lead off the third. Jackson struck out Tyler Greene before the game was postponed, with Jackson looking as if he didn't want to leave the mound.

Fans should keep any game tickets and parking coupons for Tuesday's postponed game until a makeup date is determined. Tonight's postponement is the third this season at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox games vs. Minnesota on April 19 (cold) and April 23 vs. Cleveland (rain) also were postponed.

"I wish it would've gone a little longer," Sale said. "But you can't control those things.

"My arm felt strong. It felt good. Those guys back there [in the White Sox trainer's room] know what they're doing. Just going through some different things and throwing and felt fine tonight."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.

Chicago White Sox, Conor Gillaspie, Chris Sale