CHICAGO – Mark Buehrle showed why so many teams want to trade for him, cooling off Minnesota’s sizzling offense as the Chicago White Sox beat the Twins 3-1 on Saturday.
Paul Konerko provided all the Chicago offense with a three-run homer.
The White Sox’s victory came a day after they were pummeled in a day-night doubleheader by the Twins, losing 20-14 and 12-0 – the most runs they’d given up in back-to-back games since 1930.
Buehrle (6-4), the subject of trade speculation, allowed six hits over eight scoreless innings to a Twins team that had 36 hits in the two games Friday, including eight homers. He also benefited from four double plays.
Bobby Jenks allowed a run in the ninth on a Torii Hunter sacrifice fly. Jenks got pinch-hitter Jason Kubel to ground out with a runner on second for the final out to pick up his 23rd save in 26 chances.
As Buehrle left the field to a standing ovation after the eighth inning, he waved his cap to the crowd.
Buehrle has reportedly reached agreement on years (four) and money ($56 million) for a contract extension with the White Sox, but negotiations have stalled because the team won’t give him a complete no-trade clause.
So once again he may have been pitching his last game with Chicago. He’s now 4-1 over his last six starts and improved to 19-10 in his career against the Twins, his most wins against any team.
He settled down after some shaky fielding by the left inside of his infield in the first. Leadoff batter Luis Castillo singled off Josh Fields’ glove at third and then shortstop Juan Uribe muffed Jason Bartlett’s grounder for an error. Buehrle got out of it by getting Mike Redmond to hit a double play grounder and Michael Cuddyer to fly out to left.
Boof Bonser (5-6) allowed four hits in seven innings, three in Chicago’s three-run fourth.
Jerry Owens reached on a bunt single for Chicago’s first hit, Tadahito Iguchi singled to left and Jim Thome hit a run-scoring fielder’s choice. Konkero then hit his 17th homer to deep left center to give Buehrle a 3-0 lead.
The White Sox had two on and no out in the fifth but Bonser escaped, the big play a fielder’s choice grounder in which Twins first baseman Justin Morneau threw home and got Rob Mackowiak trying to score from third.
In two previous starts against the White Sox spanning 13 2-3 innings this season, Bonser yielded just two earned runs.
Notes: Redmond was back in the lineup Saturday despite taking seven stitches to his head after he was hit by Jim Thome’s bat during the first inning of the second game Friday. Redmond was fitted with a doo-rag and some extra padding in his helmet to protect his head. “He came in today all fired up,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He’s ready to go.” And he was, collecting two hits. … Jermaine Dye was a late scratch from the White Sox’s lineup with flu-like symptoms.