CHICAGO (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles had their chance for a four-game sweep. A vintage Mark Buehrle performance ruined those plans.
Buehrle pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings for his 150th career victory and Paul Konerko homered twice to lead the Chicago White Sox to a 6-2 win over the Orioles on Monday night.
Baltimore went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position and left 13 on base.
“Typical Buehrle,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “That’s why he’s pitched 200 innings for 10 straight years. He throws the ball with a great tempo and doesn’t walk the people he doesn’t need to walk. He makes you get yourself out.”
Adam Jones and Derrek Lee had three hits apiece for Baltimore, but Buehrle was always able to get out of the jam.
“His changeup,” Jones credited. “He kept the ball down. It’s not like he had too many strikeouts, he just kept the ball down and let his defense work for him.”
Juan Pierre made a diving catch in the fourth inning to end a Baltimore threat with two runners on-base. With the White Sox ahead 1-0 at the time, the catch loomed large.
“If he doesn’t catch that ball, that’s two runs. It changes the game,” Jones said.
Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie (1-4) allowed four runs on five hits in seven innings. He struck out four and walked two, remaining winless since Opening Day.
“I had a chance to finish people and didn’t do it,” Guthrie said. “Tonight would have been nice to finish a sweep against a tough team.”
Konerko hit a two-run home run and a solo shot for the White Sox, who ended a five-game skid with only their fourth win in 19 games.
Pierre had an RBI single and Alex Rios added a solo homer to help the White Sox end a seven-game home skid with their first win at U.S. Cellular Field since April 12.
Buehrle (2-3) scattered eight hits, walked four and struck out four to win for the first time since Opening Day.
“He doesn’t panic,” Konerko said of Buehrle. “He knows how to get out of those situations.”
White Sox reliever Chris Sale hit Nick Markakis in the ninth with two outs and gave up a two-run homer to Derrek Lee. Markakis left the game after getting hit on the hand.
“Right now we’re more concerned about the knee,” Showalter said, referring to Markakis’ right knee, which he injured in the eighth inning when he tripped over a sprinkler head in the outfield.
Markakis said he doesn’t expect either injury to keep him out of the lineup.
“It doesn’t feel great but I’m just gonna take care of it and we’ll go from there,” he said.
Sale was lifted for Sergio Santos after giving up a single to Vladimir Guerrero and a walk to Luke Scott. Santos struck out Adam Jones for his third save in as many opportunities.
Rios drew a leadoff walk in the third off Guthrie, stole second with two outs and scored on Pierre’s bloop single to center.
After allowing a leadoff double to Adam Jones in the fourth, Buehrle caught Mark Reynolds looking and got Matt Wieters to ground out. With runners on first and third, Buehrle was helped by Pierre, who made a diving catch on the warning track to rob Brian Roberts of extra bases.
With two outs in the fourth, Konerko launched his seventh homer of the season to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead.
Dunn walked to load the bases with one out in the sixth. Konerko followed with a fly ball to the warning track in left that Scott snagged with a sliding catch. Gordon Beckham tagged up at third and raced home to give the White Sox a 3-0 lead.
Rios tagged Guthrie in the seventh for his second homer of the season. In the eighth, Konerko hit a two-run homer off Josh Rupe to make it 6-0. It was Konerko’s second multi-homer game of the season and 29th in his career.
White Sox reliever Jesse Crain struck out three in 1 1/3 innings.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)