Chris Sale wasn't perfect, but he was close.

With the White Sox needing a win to avoid a sweep, Sale retired the first 19 batters he faced and threw a one-hit shutout in a 3-0 win over the Angels on a chilly night at U.S. Cellular Field. His potential and talent were on full display Sunday, a showcase of why the White Sox signed him to a five-year, $32.5 million extension in March.

"I didn’t wake up this morning and say, ‘I want to throw a perfect game or a no-hitter,’ " Sale said. "I come to the ballpark every day when I’m pitching and just want to keep my team in the game and win this game. We did."

Against an aggressive Angels lineup, Sale threw plenty of strikes and changed speeds well, pitching with extraordinary effectiveness. It's that combination of pitches that garnered Sale some Cy Young attention last summer and earned him a 3.05 ERA in his first year as a major league starter.

The slumping White Sox were in need of a win on Sunday, and Sale did more than deliver it. His stellar shutout was just the type of performance his team was looking for.

"I just think he likes the big games. I guarantee he knows everyone was watching on ESPN," catcher Tyler Flowers explained. "(Pitching coach Don Cooper) actually said something to me -- that you see who the true competitors are and the true winners are when they get in the big situations against a pretty good pitcher on the other side too. You see what a pitcher is really made of in those situations and I think he enjoys it."