Take last Wednesday, when he struck out 13 Yankees over 7 2/3 innings, holding New York to one run on three hits and one walk. Sale improved to 15-4 with a 2.65 ERA after the 2-1 victory, drawing praise from a certain All-Star shortstop.
"He's funky -- he has a different kind of motion," Derek Jeter said. "He sort of steps at the left-handers and away from us. His fastball moves. He throws hard. He gets it up there -- 95, 96 [mph] -- but then he also throws a lot of offspeed pitches for strikes. He's a handful."
On Tuesday night at Camden Yards, the Orioles will get their first look at Sale since the 23-year-old made the conversion from relief pitcher. Baltimore will counter with right-hander Chris Tillman in the second of a four-game series, on the heels of Monday's 4-3 win.
The White Sox, who lead the Tigers by two games in the American League Central, had their six-game winning streak snapped in the opener. The Orioles moved to 3 1/2 games back of the Yankees in the AL East and maintained at least a share of an AL Wild Card berth by winning their third straight to start their homestand.
Sale comes in carrying a 36-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in four August games. He also will be pitching on five days' rest, as the White Sox look to keep him fresh despite a career-high 153 innings.
"I've said it before, but it's not how you start but how you finish," Sale said. "I want to finish as strong if not stronger than the way I started this thing."
Tillman will be working on even more rest than Sale, having last taken the mound on Tuesday at Texas. He was supposed to start on Sunday against the Blue Jays, but the game was rained out.
Tillman matched a season high with seven punchouts against the Rangers, climbing the strike zone with a 94-95 mph fastball. He gave up three runs on six hits and one walk in 6 2/3 innings.
"When you're ahead in the count, you can go up in the zone like that," Tillman said. "I wasn't trying to throw them that hard. Like I've said, I don't worry about the velocity. I just worry about the command."
White Sox: Viciedo makes quiet return in opener
Dayan Viciedo was back in left field and batting seventh on Monday after missing the previous two games with soreness in his right shoulder. Viciedo has been getting treatment for the shoulder and said, "it feels a lot better," although he isn't sure how the injury occurred.
"I really can't pinpoint," he said through an interpreter. "I know that a few days ago, I felt some stiffness, some soreness in the shoulder, and I could throw, but then the next day when I tried to go out, I really couldn't throw."
Viciedo, hitting .252 with 19 home runs, 57 RBIs and a .714 OPS, went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
Manager Robin Ventura has not received any word from the Commissioner's Office about a possible suspension in response to his ejection on Saturday.
Orioles: Saunders set to join team
Pitcher Joe Saunders, acquired in a trade with the D-backs on Sunday, will make his Orioles debut on either Wednesday or Thursday against the White Sox. Either way, the veteran lefty will be with his new teammates on Tuesday at Camden Yards.
"I have talked to him about it," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said, "and he knows which two days, one of which he's going to pitch in and he said that fits real well. The main thing is I want him to get here and get his feet on the ground Tuesday for a day, be with the club, be active, in the clubhouse, on the bench, so you could see him Wednesday or Thursday."
Saunders went 6-10 with a 4.22 ERA in 21 starts for the D-backs and had been scheduled to pitch on Sunday before the trade.
Right-hander Jake Arrieta was optioned back to the Minors following Monday's game to make room for Saunders. Arrieta was just recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday but is expected to come back up when rosters expand on Sept. 1.
Tillman started twice against the White Sox last season and gave up seven runs on 14 hits in 7 2/3 innings, with five walks and three strikeouts.
Sale has reached double digits in strikeouts four times this season, with a high of 15.