ANAHEIM -- Chris Sale was not close to perfect this past Sunday night when he pitched against the Angels at U.S. Cellular Field, regardless of how the scoreboard read.
The White Sox ace retired the first 19 batters and allowed just two baserunners, but he also was working through a cracked tooth on the back right side of his mouth that had become abscessed. Sale had that tooth removed on Monday.
"What happened was I cracked the tooth in half on our plane trip coming back from [New York] going to Chicago and I bit into something and my tooth went one way," Sale said. "So I actually pulled half of it out on the plane and got the rest of it taken care of.
"I wanted to do it after my start so I had enough time to get over it and be ready for my next start. I got put on laughing gas and pain medication. I was out of it for a couple days."
Sale joked that he was "a little loopy" the first couple of days after the tooth was pulled, but he has been training the last few days and should be ready for Friday's start. The dentist who performed the procedure was a Twins fan, according to a smiling Sale, but took good care of him.
Now the task for Sale is to throw another masterpiece against the Angels, a start that Sale considered even better than his 15-strikeout effort against Tampa last May 28.
"Any time you get an unexpected day off in the bullpen, it's always nice," said Sale, explaining why he picked the complete-game one-hitter as his top mound work. "I like taking care of those guys because those guys are coming in quite a bit, 60, 70, maybe even 80 times."