PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Chicago White Sox gave the Pittsburgh
Pirates a lesson in how the good clubs do it. The Pirates must be
wondering how much worse it can get.
Mark Buehrle limited Pittsburgh to two runs over seven innings
and the White Sox ran the Pirates' record-tying losing streak to 12
games, quickly building a three-run lead before holding on for a
4-2 victory Tuesday night.
The Pirates' losing streak matches a 12-game slide in 1939 as
their longest in baseball's modern era, which began in 1900. The
only longer streak in franchise history was a 23-game slide in
1890, a season so bad that the club changed its name from the
Pittsburg Alleghenies to the Pirates a year after going 23-113.
This time, the team with the second-best record in the majors
met the one with the second-worst, and with a predictable result.
The World Series champion White Sox led 3-0 before Pirates starter
Ian Snell got out of the second inning, and never lost the lead in
improving to 11-2 in interleague play.
"It's a little frustrating facing them," Snell said. "You
have to battle against a team like that and it's hard. They do
every little thing they need to win. They're perfect in almost
every aspect. It's unreal."
Scott Podsednik, Tadahito Iguchi and Jim Thome singled to start
the game, and A.J. Pierzynski followed with a one-out RBI single to
make it 2-0. Pierzynski's base-running mistake may have cost the
White Sox a bigger inning as he was caught between second and third
following a single by Rob Mackowiak that loaded the bases, and
Thome was subsequently tagged out at third during the ensuing
Despite that, Juan Uribe doubled to start the second and scored
on Podsednik's sacrifice fly to make it 3-0. It was one of seven
White Sox hits in the first two innings and 10 in five innings
against Snell (7-5). At least he kept the White Sox in the park --
they failed to homer despite having a major league-best 111 this
Craig Wilson hit his 12th for the Pirates, a solo shot in the
seventh. Joe Randa barely missed hitting another, a potential
pinch-hit grand slam that left fielder Podsednik caught with his
back to the wall to end the fifth.
"He missed by inches," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said, his
voice reflecting the weariness the Pirates feel after going winless
for two weeks. "We didn't do anything wrong. They just played a
little better. When you're that good, when you've played on the
stage they played on last year, they come to the ballpark knowing
they're going to be almost perfect every night."
The Pirates had won four of five before their losing streak,
prompting White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen to say, "Even though
those guys are struggling, I like what I see in those kids. They're
going to be a pretty good ballclub soon."
But when? The Pirates must go 56-28 the rest of the way to avoid
a 14th consecutive losing season.
"We do," Tracy said when asked if the Pirates need to find a
way -- any way -- to win a game. "We need to try to get that stigma
out of here."
Still, Buehrle (9-4) was relieved he didn't have a letdown. He
won his third in a row after losing two straight, giving up seven
hits and two runs over seven innings despite striking out one.
"I don't like facing teams like this," he said. "It's like
Kansas City, I'd rather be going against Boston or the Yankees.
When you face this team, you're supposed to win and they're
supposed to lose. That can be very hard and difficult because they
have a good group of young players."
Brandon McCarthy pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Bobby
Jenks finished up for his 23rd save in 24 chances. He has converted
his last 14 save opportunities.
Chicago's Jermaine Dye, 2-for-18 coming into the game, went
3-for-5 with two doubles during a 15-hit White Sox night. Thome
drove in two runs, adding a two-out RBI single in the ninth off
The Pirates have gone eight consecutive games without a
starting pitcher lasting six innings. ... Buehrle is 11-4 in
interleague play. ... The Pirates are 1-9 against the AL. ... White
Sox OF Brian Anderson's five-game suspension for his role in a
benches-clearing incident against the Cubs ended, but he didn't
play. ... The Pirates are 7-18 in June and haven't won since
beating the Cardinals 9-7 on June 14.