CHICAGO – After the White Sox committed a costly error in the top of the ninth that tied the game, Chris Sale wound up with a no-decision despite striking out 13 batters in eight innings.
He wasn't the least bit upset about it.
Alexei Ramirez singled in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth, and the Sox beat the New York Mets, 5-4, on Tuesday night.
"I don't think I've ever been disappointed after a win," Sale said. "Stuff happens. It's definitely not the first time that's happened, and it's probably not the last, either. My record is irrelevant."
The Mets scored the tying run with two outs in the ninth on the defensive miscue. Pinch-hitter Daniel Murphy hit a popup in front of the mound and third baseman Conor Gillaspie called for the ball before second baseman Gordon Beckham tried to make the catch as they nearly collided. The ball fell for an error by Beckham, and David Wright scored after he had singled and stole second.
"Stupid play for me," Beckham said. "My heart was in the right spot, but my mind obviously wasn't. It was loud. I screwed up. It is what it is. I'm glad we won. It didn't cost us the game, but it's a stupid play and I'm an idiot."
Manager Robin Ventura said the first player who reaches the ball in no-man's land should make the play. He said the Sox, who ranked 13th in the AL with a .980 fielding percentage, might be trying too hard.
"You're at a loss to describe it," Ventura said. "At least they gathered together and scored a run in the next inning. But it's just a communication thing, and you got to clean it up."
Ramirez's winning hit came with runners on the corners. Jeff Keppinger singled and Beckham reached on a fielding error by reliever LaTroy Hawkins (2-1). Keppinger moved to third on a groundball by Tyler Flowers.
Addison Reed (3-0) got the victory after blowing his third save.
"The thing I'm most disappointed in is Sale didn't get the win," Reed said. "He pitched his butt off and gets nothing to show for it, but we got out of it with the win."
Sale allowed three runs, four hits and two walks. He fell one short of his season high for strikeouts and two shy of his career high, set on May 28, 2012, against Tampa.
Sale struck out the side in the fourth and sixth innings and fanned nine through the first four frames. He retired 10 straight batters after allowing an RBI single to Josh Satin in the first inning.
"My arm was loose," Sale said. "After the first couple of innings, I just felt like I had good control and good command of all my pitches."
The Sox came in averaging 2.69 runs when Sale started this season – the lowest run support average in the majors. Sale remained 0-4 in June.
"He pitched great, everything that you'd want him to do," Ventura said.
Flowers homered to tie the game in the third and scored the go-ahead run on Ramirez's sacrifice fly in the fifth.
In his second major league start, New York's Zack Wheeler allowed four runs, struck out one and walked three in 5 1/3 innings. A first-round draft pick by the Giants in 2009, Wheeler threw six shutout innings against the Atlanta Braves to win his debut June 18.
"Fastball has got life to it," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "His curveball today was so much better than his last start. Now if he finds his slider to go with it he's got three pitches. You'll get a lot of outs."
The Mets scored two runs in the first inning. Eric Young Jr. led off with a double, stole third and scored on a Marlon Byrd sacrifice fly. Wright drew a walk, stole second and scored on a Satin single.
The Sox pulled within one in the bottom of the first. Alejandro De Aza led off with a single and eventually scored on a groundout.
Flowers tied the game 2-2 with a solo homer in the third. It was his seventh homer and the first major league homer Wheeler has allowed.
Andrew Brown hit a go-ahead, leadoff homer on the first pitch from Sale in the fifth inning. Sale retired 10 straight batters and struck out four straight before the homer.
The Sox scored two runs to take a 4-3 lead in the fifth. Beckham singled and later scored on a groundout. Flowers was hit by Wheeler and went on to score on a sac fly.
NOTES: Sox 1B Paul Konerko was out of the lineup because of a sore back. Ventura said the injury recently popped up. ... The Mets optioned RHP Greg Burke to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Wheeler on the roster. ... Ramirez had committed five errors in his past 11 games entering Tuesday. His 12 errors lead the AL. ... The Mets traded OF Collin Cowgill to the Angels for minor leaguer Kyle Johnson. Cowgill batted .180 in 23 games for New York. ... Sox RHP Jake Peavy said he hopes to start playing catch this week and throw bullpen sessions next week. He went on the disabled list June 6 for a left rib fracture. ... The game was briefly delayed in the top of the first inning when a power surge knocked out some lights as storms approached.