One inning after hitting a two-run, tiebreaking home run, Pierzynski took advantage of a series of defensive lapses to score from first base on a groundout in the seventh to punctuate the White Sox's 7-3 victory over the Athletics.
As shortstop Cliff Pennington bumped into third baseman Adam Rosales before throwing to first base to retire Alexei Ramirez, Pierzynski rounded second base and ran toward an uncovered third and kept running when he noticed catcher Derek Norris, who was racing to cover third, was "kind of in no-man's land."
"(Baltimore manager) Buck Showalter used to run that play (in Texas) with a fast guy on first," Pierzynski said. "Not that I'm fast."
Sale (14-3) supplied the velocity and Pierzynski provided the blend of power and speed as the Sox snapped a 1-1 tie with five runs in the sixth without third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who hopes to return Monday night in Toronto after treating a stiff left forearm after getting hit by a pitch Saturday.
Sale, 23, gave the Sox a medical scare in the fifth when he twisted his left knee while unsuccessfully trying to field an infield hit by Pennington. But Sale recovered to strike out Jemile Weeks to end a threat and finished with 11 strikeouts in 62/3 innings as his ERA stands at 2.60.
"He's young, but he's still one of the best guys in the league," manager Robin Ventura said.
Sale showed no signs of fatigue in his second start since receiving a nine-day break by mixing a 94-mph fastball with a sharp-breaking curve. He is scheduled to make his next start on four days' rest Friday at Kansas City.
"No one else is going to slow down," Sale said. "This is the hardest part of the season right here, getting toward the end. You've got to stay on your game and stay sharp physically and mentally."
Of the 16 home runs allowed by Bartolo Colon this season, Pierzynski's homer was the first with a runner on base. And Pierzynski's 23rd homer tied Carlton Fisk (1987) for the third most by a Sox catcher in a season.
"(Former Minnesota manager) Tom Kelly used to say, 'get to a point where you can play meaningful games in September,' " Pierzynski said. "We're almost there."
The Sox will promote a reliever from Triple-A Charlotte before Monday night's game after optioning outfielder Jordan Danks. His status was in question after the Sox promoted veteran outfielder Dewayne Wise, who had two hits and an RBI Sunday.
Left-hander Hector Santiago, who hasn't allowed a run in eight innings covering two appearances, is a candidate to be promoted.