CINCINNATI -- By now, National League hitters ought to know a little bit about Mark Buehrle. Judging by the Cincinnati Reds' swings, he's still mostly a mystery.
The left-hander pitched seven shutout innings, his latest impressive showing against the NL, and the Chicago White Sox added to their run of success against the Reds with a 4-1 victory Sunday.
Why Mark Buehrle won
• The White Sox starter truly scattered five hits (never more than one hit in the same inning).
• Only two of the 27 batters he faced reached second base (only one of those reached third base).
• .192 BA allowed, his lowest since May 7th (third lowest of the season).
• In-Zone percent of 60.4, his second highest mark of the season (In-Zone percent is the percentage of pitches that are thrown in the strike zone).
-- ESPN Stats and Information
The White Sox are 14-3 against Cincinnati in interleague play, winning 10 of their last 11. The latest one had a lot to do with Buehrle (7-2), who is usually at his best against NL hitters who don't know him very well.The left-hander is 19-6 in interleague play, winning 15 of his last 17 starts against NL teams. Buehrle has won both his career starts against the Reds, who spent the afternoon hitting ground balls off his sinkers."Maybe it's just that some of these guys haven't seen me before," said Buehrle, who gave up five hits and one walk. "You just go out there and [use] some of the pitches they haven't seen. It's worked to my advantage."Happens that way nearly every time."You pretty much expect it from this guy," Chicago leadoff hitter Scott Podsednik said. "He went out there and was pretty much vintage Buehrle."Struggling set-up man Scott Linebrink gave up Brandon Phillips' sacrifice fly in the eighth inning, a reminder of Chicago's biggest bullpen concern at the moment. Linebrink gave up four runs in a loss to the Cubs earlier in the week.On Sunday, the right-hander threw 95 mph but had trouble with his control. He gave up a hit, walked one and hit a batter with a pitch. Ramon Hernandez lined into a double play to end the inning."His velocity is good," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "His command is not happening. We need to get him to get better. If we're going to win, we need him badly. We need him to step it up and pitch better."Bobby Jenks pitched a perfect ninth for his 17th save in 19 chances.Aaron Harang (5-7) remained winless since May 25 despite a solid performance -- three runs, eight hits, no walks in seven innings. Podsednik singled twice and scored a pair of runs.The Reds finished a 3-3 homestand that rendered them a break-even team all around. Cincinnati fell to 34-34 overall, with a mark of 17-17 at home and 17-17 on the road. The Reds consider themselves fortunate to be at .500 considering the way injuries have decimated the infield."If you had told me in spring training we'd be where we are now with everything that's happened, I would have taken it, especially in this division," shortstop Jerry Hairston Jr. said. "We're right in the thick of things."The top of Chicago's order had a big day in its 10-8 win on Saturday night. Podsednik and Alexei Ramirez were a combined 7 for 9 with two homers, six RBIs and three runs scored. They got the White Sox going again on Sunday by opening the game with back-to-back singles off Harang and coming around to score."Our offense is going to run a lot smoother and it's going to be a lot more dangerous when he and I are on base," Podsednik said.Podsednik singled again and eventually came around on Paul Konerko's single in the fifth, the 1,000th RBI of his career. Twenty-nine of those RBIs came with the Dodgers and Reds in the 1990s. Dewayne Wise added a run-scoring double in the ninth.Harang was coming off an unusual appearance. He reached only the third inning on Tuesday before a long rain delay forced him out of a 7-2 win over Atlanta. Harang threw just 35 pitches in that one, hardly a workout.After his rough first inning on Sunday, he settled in and allowed only one more run. Given the way Buehrle was pitching, it was too late. The Reds got only two runners to second base against him.It was Buehrle's first win since May 19. He was 0-1 with four no-decisions since then, a reflection on Chicago's slumping offense.
The White Sox are 7-4 in interleague play this season. The Reds are 3-6. ... OF Jermaine Dye was out of Chicago's starting lineup for the second straight day with a sore left calf. ... Reds 3B Edwin Encarnacion was sent to Triple-A Louisville to start a rehab assignment. He's been out since April 28 with a chipped bone in his left wrist. ... Phillips was back in the lineup, a day after he aggravated his right thumb and had to leave the game. Phillips sustained a hairline fracture in the thumb on May 23 but has kept playing.