Buehrle went 10-3 with a 2.58 ERA before the All-Star break, but is 5-4 with a 4.15 ERA since. The left-hander isn’t alone. Rotation mates Jon Garland and Freddy Garcia have also struggled in the second half.
Garcia was roughed up for seven runs and closer Dustin Hermanson blew his fourth save as the White Sox were beaten 10-9 by the Royals on Wednesday.
“When you score nine runs, you should have a win,” Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. “We pitched poorly. Freddy pitched really, really poorly. We have to look ourselves in the mirror and pitch better.”
Hermanson, who has been bothered by a sore lower back, did not pitch on Tuesday as Guillen opted to leave Bobby Jenks in for a two-inning save.
“Obviously, every time we have a lead in the ninth inning I want to be in there,” Hermanson said. “I think they are trying to help me, not overuse me. I think they’re doing the right thing, trying to take care of me, trying to protect me.”
The Royals rallied with three runs in the ninth to snap a franchise-record 102-game losing streak in which they trailed after eight innings. The last time they won with a deficit entering the ninth was Aug. 31, 2004, against Detroit.
“It is nice to break that streak,” said Mark Teahen, who scored the winning run. “I’m definitely enjoying it.”
Chicago lost for just the fourth time in 17 games against Kansas City this season, and had its AL Central lead cut to five games over the Cleveland Indians—the smallest lead for the White Sox since before play on June 16.
Buehrle is looking to notch 16 wins for the four time in five seasons. He’s 12-5 with a 3.31 ERA in 24 career games against Kansas City, including 22 starts.