Chicago (23-17) at Minnesota (24-16)

Light Rain Currently: Minneapolis, MN
Temp: 59° F
  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Fri May 21, 2004
  • TV: FSCH, FSNO
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Mark Buehrle is finally getting some run support, and he’s making the most of it.

Buehrle looks to earn his third straight win and help the White Sox move into a tie for first place in the AL Central as he faces Carlos Silva and the Minnesota Twins.

Buehrle allowed just seven hits in 6 2-3 innings of Sunday’s 11-0 win against Silva and the Twins, holding his second straight opponent scoreless. He gave up just four hits in seven innings of a 15-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles on May 11.

“I had to shut them down to give the offense a chance against Silva,” said Buehrle. “But if you can’t pitch with that run support, you don’t belong in the big leagues.”

Chicago’s offensive outbursts in Buehrle’s last outings have been a big boost for the left-hander, who lost 12 games last season in which the White Sox scored two or fewer runs. Buehrle finished 2003 with a 14-14 record—the first time in his career he has not earned a record better than .500.

“We were kind of joking around and saying every time we come in we’re going to say I’m starting so they’ll go out and score some runs,” Buehrle said. “I don’t know what it is, but the last couple of games they got some runs and some hits for me.”

Buehrle’s strong performance Sunday snapped Silva’s impressive five-decision winning streak and left him with his first loss of the season. The 25-year-old right-hander allowed a season-high six earned runs and eight hits in a season-low three innings.

He had not surrendered more than four runs in any of his previous seven starts this season.

“We could have played today a little better,” said Twins center fielder Torii Hunter. “But Mark Buehrle was on, and we have to take this whupping like a man.”

The White Sox won the series opener 10-3 Thursday, moving within a game of the Twins in the Central.

“Not when you play guys so many times,” said Chicago’s Paul Konerko, who had two solo homers, when asked if his team had sent a message to the Twins. “It’s just one win. It’s definitely better than losing, but we still haven’t won the series yet.”

Slugger Frank Thomas had a season-high four hits, including a three-run homer, for the White Sox, who have won three straight and four of five.

“He’s hitting the ball well,” starter Esteban Loaiza said of Thomas, who did not speak to reporters. “I think everybody’s hitting the ball well.”

Thomas reached base five times and drove in a season-high five runs Wednesday in Chicago’s 15-3 win over Cleveland.

“Hopefully, we just come back tomorrow and get some more runs like we did today,” said Loaiza, who snapped a three-start losing streak.

Jacque Jones homered for the Twins, who have lost three of five.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Buehrle Tor vs. C. Silva Bos
16-10 Record 14-8
3.89 ERA 4.21
165 K 76
51 BB 35
1.26 WHIP 1.43