Buehrle scattered six hits over eight innings, Carl Everett
homered and drove in four runs and the White Sox beat Minnesota 6-4
on Wednesday to snap a four-game losing streak to the Twins.Benefiting from four double plays, Buehrle (14-6) gave up one
run and struck out six without allowing a walk to end a personal
five-game losing streak against Minnesota -- which beat Garcia 1-0
on one hit on Tuesday."That was vintage Mark -- strikes, groundballs, double plays. He
didn't walk a batter," said former Twins catcher A.J. Pierzynski,
who had three hits. "That's why he's one of the best there is.
When he's on, he can beat anybody."Everett had three hits, the first five batters in the lineup
went 11-for-22 and Chicago won for only the second time in 10
games.Matthew LeCroy homered and drove in two runs for Minnesota,
which watched starter Joe Mays (6-9) struggle again and threaten
his place in the rotation."We won, and that's all that matters," said Buehrle, who faced
the minimum through five innings. "It was nice to get my
confidence back up."Once Buehrle left, the Twins staged a serious rally -- getting a
two-run homer from Nick Punto off Cliff Politte to pull within 6-3
in the ninth. Joe Mauer greeted Damaso Marte with a single, and
Dustin Hermanson gave up an RBI double to LeCroy before getting the
last two outs for his 31st save."We've been reading stories about us choking all year,"
Hermanson said. "It's nothing new. I just hope the guys aren't
reading the paper."LeCroy spoiled Buehrle's shutout bid with a two-out homer in the
seventh, but the Twins dropped to 10½ games behind the White Sox in
the AL Central. Second-place Cleveland also lost, falling eight
games back. Minnesota is three games behind in the wild-card race,
trailing three teams."I'm not doing my job," Mays said. "They've got to do what's
in the best interest of the team. You've just got to swallow your
pride."While the rest of Minnesota's starting pitchers have surged in
the second half, Mays has stumbled -- going 1-6 with a 7.48 ERA
after posting marks of 5-3 and 4.13 before the All-Star break. He
gave up nine hits and five runs in 4 2-3 innings, walking one and
hitting one without a strikeout.Mays had elbow problems throughout 2002 and 2003 before opting
for reconstructive surgery that kept him off the mound for nearly
18 months until this spring. That could be a reason why his maximum
velocity is to down to about 88 mph, reducing the effectiveness of
his best pitch, a sinker.With top prospects Scott Baker and Francisco Liriano thriving at
Triple-A Rochester, a change sounded almost imminent. Manager Ron
Gardenhire, however, has a shortage of healthy players and isn't
sure how a move would work before teams are allowed to expand their
rosters on Sept. 1."If you can figure out a way to get a pitcher up here ...
you're a little bit smarter than I am right now," Gardenhire said.
"We're really stuck here."After Tadahito Iguchi walked in the first, Everett followed with
an upper-deck shot to right field -- his 19th homer of the season --
to put the White Sox up 2-0. Boosted by nifty plays in the field
that shortstop Jason Bartlett and second baseman Punto turned into
groundouts, Mays settled down until Timo Perez started the
disastrous fifth with a bunt single.Everett raised his RBI total to 72 with a two-run double, and
Jermaine Dye finished Mays with an RBI double that made it 5-0.
Upon taking Mays out, Gardenhire told him to cover his ears as they
braced for boos from the crowd of 32,687."They're hootin' because they want to see good performances,"
Gardenhire said. "But you can't take it personally."A morose Mays was beyond caring about that."I still feel good out there," he said. "I just haven't been
able to stop this snowball that's rolling down that hill."
An MRI on Minnesota LF Shannon Stewart's shoulder showed no
damage, and he's day to day. CF Torii Hunter is probably out for
the rest of the regular season because of a broken left ankle, and
RF Jacque Jones left the team for two days to attend his uncle's
funeral. ... Chicago OF Scott Podsednik, the major league leader in
steals who is on the disabled list with a strained groin, will
begin a brief rehabilitation assignment this week and is expected
to join the team on Monday for a game in Texas.