CHICAGO (AP) Luis Robert Jr. homered in the first inning and five Chicago pitchers combined on a three-hitter as the White Sox beat Chris Sale and the Atlanta Braves 1-0 on Thursday.

Sale (10-3) struck out a season-high 11 in seven innings against his original team. The 35-year-old lefty allowed four hits and walked one in a fourth straight solid start. He was touched up only when Robert connected on a low-inside slider for his eighth home run.

“I was throwing slider. He was hitting slider and he put a good swing on it,” Sale said. “Not too often a first-inning solo homer wins a game, but it happens.”

Chicago ended a four-game slide and won for just the second time in nine games. The White Sox have the worst record in the majors at 22-61.

Atlanta has lost two in a row and three of four.

In the makeup of an April 3 rainout, Robert entered batting just .190 but ended an 11-game drought without a home run. He had 38 homers and 80 RBIs during a breakout All-Star season in 2023, but missed nearly two months this year with a right hip flexor strain sustained in Kansas City on April 5.

Robert said through a translator he might have faced Sale only twice before, but the fleet center fielder guessed right on Thursday. With two hits, he raised his batting average to .204.

“I'm not where I would like to be with my offense,” Robert said. “I'm still working on that. I think the last couple of games I've been better with my pitch selection, even though the umpires have been calling some pitches that have been out of the zone.”

Chad Kuhl made his first start for the White Sox and first in the majors since April 2023 with Pittsburgh. He tossed three-plus innings and permitted just one hit, a double by Ozzie Albies leading off the fourth.

The 31-year-old right-hander was removed after 49 pitches. He threw 99 over 4 1/3 innings in relief at Detroit on Sunday, when he allowed two runs and six hits.

“I definitely was starting to hit a wall,” Kuhl said. "I don't know what I finished at today, but super thankful.

“We were open and honest about how I was feeling and they got me out of there at the right time.”

Jarred Shuster (1-0), the second White Sox reliever, pitched three innings for the win. Michael Kopech worked around an error in the ninth for his sixth save in 10 chances.

Kuhl signed with Chicago as a free agent in the offseason and was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte two week ago.

Sale spent his first seven seasons with the White Sox. He was an All-Star in seven straight years through 2018 - five with Chicago and two with Boston - then struggled with injuries before the Red Sox traded him to Atlanta last offseason.

Robert lined the first pitch he saw from Sale down the left-field line and into the White Sox bullpen.

Albies led off the fourth with a double against Kuhl. Justin Anderson relieved and walked Marcell Ozuna, then retired the next three Braves hitters.

John Brebbia yielded a single and a walk with one out in the eighth. Albies popped out and Ozuna was retired on a fly to the wall in right.


Braves: SS Orlando Arcia (dizziness) returned to the lineup after leaving Monday’s game at St. Louis in the sixth inning, then missing Tuesday's doubleheader.

White Sox: OF Gavin Sheets sat out and is day to day with a jammed left heel sustained in Wednesday’s 4-0 loss to the Dodgers.


Braves: RHP Charlie Morton (4-4, 4.20 ERA) faces Pittsburgh LHP Martín Pérez (1-3, 4.71) in Atlanta on Friday night.

White Sox: Rookie RHP Drew Thorpe (1-1, 5.02 ERA) makes his fourth career start against Colorado RHP Dakota Hudson (2-10, 5.63) at home Friday night.


Chad Kuhl's age has been corrected in this story.



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