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Imperfect night


Imperfect night
CHICAGO -- Perfection was a possibility until Placido Polanco's one-out double in the seventh inning skipped to the wall and rattled around in the left-field corner.

Chicago White Sox ace Mark Buehrle had set down 19 consecutive Detroit Tigers batters before that hit, and nobody really had come close in Chicago's 6-0 win Thursday night.

Buehrle appeared rattled after the double. He walked Clete Thomas and Magglio Ordonez to load the bases with two outs. But Gerald Laird, who was a member of the Texas Rangers team that Buehrle no-hit on April 18, 2007, flew out to center to end the inning.

"He just carved us up," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "He's carved a lot of teams up. He's 5-0. He pitched brilliantly, and you can't find a flaw. He carved us up, made us look bad."

No pitcher has thrown a no-hitter against Detroit since Randy Johnson turned the trick June 2, 1990, at Seattle.

Buehrle threw 110 pitches before coming out after eight innings. He struck out five.

"He never shakes his head when you call for your pitch," said Chicago catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who hit a two-run homer off Tigers starter and loser Armando Galarraga. "He didn't shake one off tonight. He makes it fun to catch."

Laird remembers how tough Buehrle's cutter was on that cold night two years ago.

"I thought, 'Damn, I'm going to be in (his no-hitter) twice,' " Laird said. "Luckily, we got a hit."

Buehrle, off to the first 5-0 start of his career, got plenty of cushion plenty early.

Walks often come back to haunt a pitcher, and the White Sox wasted no time against Galarraga.

He walked leadoff hitter Chris Getz and cleanup hitter Jim Thome to set the stage for a five-run first inning. Jermaine Dye singled in the first run, Paul Konerko had a two-run double and Pierzynski hit his two-run homer.

Galarraga settled down after that, allowing just a solo homer to shortstop Jayson Nix in the fourth inning, but the damage had been done.

"It looked to me like he pitched around Thome in the first inning, and it cost him five runs," Leyland said.

Laird agreed, saying Galarraga needed to "make Thome earn his way on."

Galarraga said he did not give in to Thome until falling behind 3-1 in the count and decided to put him on.

"But (Galarraga) hung in there and continued to battle," Leyland said. "He continued to pitch, and I give him a lot of credit. Some guys would've caved."

It was the second shaky outing in a row for Galarraga (3-2), who had a 1.85 ERA after four starts before giving up five runs in five innings to the Cleveland Indians in his last start.

Galarraga allowed six runs in six innings against Chicago before Ryan Perry relieved him in the seventh.

"He's just a little bit off," Laird said. "His fastball and slider command isn't what it has been."


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 9, 2009

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