GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- In his 2013 Cactus League debut, White Sox starter Chris Sale threw 28 pitches and just 15 for strikes during the first inning of Friday's 9-7 loss to the Indians at Goodyear Ballpark.
The plan for Sale was to go somewhere between 45 to 50 pitches or three innings.
"I thought they were going to get me out [of] there after the first one. It would have been kind of a bummer," said a smiling Sale. "I definitely felt good out there, but the first inning was kind of sporadic. Just felt like I was going one million miles per hour."
Sale credited catcher Hector Gimenez for coming to the mound and telling him to slow down. And when Sale threw his off-speed stuff, it got him back into rhythm, to where he wanted to be.
"As far as today went, it's a good building block. I'm very satisfied with how it went," Sale said. "Obviously, there's room for improvement in anything you do. But day one -- hot on the mound. Build from this and learn from this and try to go into the next one a little more."
"It's nice to see him out there, seeing the guys you kind of expect to be in the rotation," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "I don't think he was as sharp as he would like to be, but it's nice to get him out there and get the juices flowing a little bit."
After Sale escaped a two-on, one-out situation in the first, he needed just 10 pitches in the second for a perfect frame. He faced two batters and threw 10 more pitches before Ventura removed him with one on and one out in the third.
His afternoon's work covered 48 pitches, 29 of which were strikes. He fanned three, including Michael Bourn twice. Sale hopes Friday's start was the first step in making at least 30 regular season trips to the mound and throwing at least 200 innings.
"To be looked at as another guy and just as another starter is big for me, and that's what I want," Sale said. "Everyone in here expects it now, not having to take breaks and sitting out a couple games, and go after it."