<
>

Buehrle first AL pitcher to eight wins

5/25/2002

CHICAGO (AP) -- Mark Buehrle has been getting more run support
than he needs.

Buehrle pitched a five-hitter to become the American League's
first eight-game winner and Frank Thomas hit one of four Chicago
homers to lead the White Sox to a 12-1 victory over the Detroit
Tigers on Friday night.

Thomas, Magglio Ordonez and Paul Konerko hit three-run homers
and Kenny Lofton added a solo shot as the White Sox won their third
straight game.

This was the 10th time this season that Chicago has scored
double digit runs.

Buehrle (8-3) gave up only an unearned run, struck out five and
walked one in his fifth career complete game and first this season.

"He's great to play behind,'' Konerko said. "When he gets a
lead he just puts it on cruise control. He just gets better and
better every time.''

But Buehrle said he didn't even have his best stuff.

"My sinker wasn't working tonight at all,'' he said. "I had to
rely heavily on my four-seam fastball instead of going to the
sinker.''

Steve Sparks (2-5) gave up eight runs -- seven earned -- and nine
hits in four-plus innings for the Tigers, who had their six-game
winning streak snapped.

"When you win six, seven games straight -- you lose one, you
always know you can come back because you've already done it,''
Tigers manager Luis Pujols said. "To me, that's probably the best
left-hander we've faced.''

Sparks got into trouble in the third inning by giving up a
leadoff home run to Lofton. He then walked Ray Durham, and Ordonez
reached base on an error by second baseman Shane Halter. Konerko
than followed with his eighth homer, giving the White Sox a 5-1
lead.

"I thought we did a pretty good job of being aggressive hitting
the easier one, the get-me-over one,'' said Konerko.

In the fifth inning, Sparks found himself in more trouble when
he gave up back-to-back singles to Ordonez and Konerko. Thomas
followed with his 10th homer to make it 8-1.

"They just did a good job of hitting today,'' Sparks said.
"It's a lethal lineup and they took advantage of some bad pitches
and hit some good pitches.''

In the eighth inning, Kris Keller making his major league debut
gave up a leadoff walk to Royce Clayton. Two batters later, Keller
walked Durham and Ordonez followed with his 10th homer.

Lofton led off the sixth inning with a walk and moved to second
base on a single by Durham. One batter later, Konerko drove in
Lofton on a single for his fourth RBI of the night.

The only Tigers run came in the second inning when Halter
tripled to center field after Lofton misplayed the flyball. Lofton
charged in and tried to jump and catch it, but the ball sailed over
his head and rolled center field fence.

Chris Truby followed with a lineout to Durham at second base.
Durham thought he caught Halter off the base, and fired an errant
throw into the stands allowing Halter to score.

"He locates every pitch well,'' Halter said of Buehrle. "He
throws his cutter down and in, he misses down and in. He throws his
fastball out over the plate and tries to hit a corner, he misses
out over the corner. He never misses to the middle of the plate.

"He's one of those guys that you have to manufacture runs
against. And you've got to keep a low-scoring game.''

Game notes
Game-time temperature was 46 degrees with winds gusting up
to 26 mph. ... Since the start of the 2001 season, Buehrle has gone
24-11 in 43 starts. ... The White Sox have won 18 of the last 21
meetings with the Tigers.