<
>

Buehrle has won eight of last nine

CHICAGO (AP) -- Snubbed for the All-Star game, Mark Buehrle went out and showed why he deserved to go to Houston.

Buehrle pitched eight effective innings and Paul Konerko homered
to lead the Chicago White Sox over the Seattle Mariners 3-2
Saturday night.

Buehrle (9-2) has won eight of his last nine decisions. He gave
up two runs and scattered nine hits. He has a 1.96 ERA over his
last three starts.

Before the game, Buehrle learned that Indians starter Jake
Westbrook was added to the American League All-Star team, replacing
Boston's Curt Schilling.

The Indians have five All-Stars, while the White Sox will be
represented by Esteban Loaiza.

"Somebody said something to me before the game started that
Cleveland got another guy, It's almost to the point that so many
guys get hurt that you just don't want to go," Buehrle said. "If
I get the chance to go, I'm going to go, but right now it's almost
like you really don't want to."

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen believes that Buehrle should be
selected to the AL team.

"He pitched like an All-Star, he pitched real good for us all
year long. I think he deserves to be there, he earned that spot."

The Mariners have lost a season-high eight straight games. The
losing streak is Seattle's longest since September 1992, when it
lost a club-record 14 in a row. At 32-53, Seattle is 21 games below
.500 for the first time since Aug. 2, 1994. They've also lost 11
straight on the road.

"I don't know what's going on around here. It's nobody's fault.
It's just the way it is right now," Bret Boone said.

Before the game, the Mariners designated shortstop Rich Aurilia
for assignment.

"When things go like they've gone for us, changes are made and
you can't blame anyone else for that," Boone said.

Trailing 2-1 in the fifth, the White Sox took advantage of
wildness by Mariners starter Matt Thorton to take the lead.

Thorton, making his first major league start, walked Juan Uribe
with one out in the fifth and gave up a single to Aaron Rowand.
Uribe and Rowand advanced on Magglio Ordonez's groundout. Thorton
(1-2) then walked Carlos Lee to load the bases, and Konerko and Joe
Crede to make it 3-2.

"Those walks, that's what killed me. You give the game away. I
did my best to keep us in it and we were right there," said
Thorton.

Konerko hit a 419-foot shot to center for his 22nd homer of the
season in the second inning.

Thorton gave up three runs on seven walks in five innings. He
allowed three hits. In Thorton's last appearance, against St. Louis
on July 2, he walked five in 2 1/3 innings.

In the third inning, Willie Bloomquist doubled off Buehrle and
scored on Jolbert Cabrera's single to right, giving the Mariners a
2-1 lead.

Cabrera doubled to left in the first inning and scored on
Boone's RBI single.

Shingo Takatsu pitched the ninth for his fourth save.
^Notes:@ The Mariners activated Raul Ibanez from the 15-day disabled
list before the game. ... Buehrle stuck out his foot to stop a
grounder hit by Ibanez in the second inning. The ball hit his foot
and then deflected off his face. He was still able to get the out
and was not injured on the play. ... The White Sox had their fifth
sellout of the season. ... Ichiro Suzuki sat out his first game of
the season.