The much-anticipated duel between fit-again Sale fly-half Charlie Hodgson and Bath pivot Olly Barkley never amounted too much with the latter leaving the field injured in the second half.
Barkley opened the scoring for Bath in the third minute with a penalty kick, but Hodgson had the Sharks in control in the 15th minute when he charged down a kick by Bath fullback Mike Catt to dot down.
The Sale No.10 was unable to convert from out wide and it proved to be a costly miss.
Bath No.8 Isaac Feaunati reclaimed the lead for the hosts with a try in the corner after England centre Mike Tindall broke the visitors defence.
Barkley failed to convert, but Hodgson failed with another simple penalty attempt to close the gap before the break.
Bath struck shortly after the break when Catt began a counter attack from within his own 22, which ended in flanker Michael Lipman going over in the corner.
The hosts managed to hold onto the lead thanks to a late penalty from Bath substitute fly-half Chris Malone, but a try to Sale prop Andrew Sheridan in injury-time made the last few minutes a tense affair for the Zurich Premiership leaders.
For Bath:Tries: Fea'unati, LipmanPens: Barkley, Malone
For Sale:Tries: Hodgson, SheridanCon: Hodgson