Mark Buehrle(notes), the Chicago White Sox’s lone representative in next week’s All-Star game, believes others on their pitching staff were just as deserving. While that could be debated, Buehrle has certainly shown recently why he earned the spot.
Buehrle takes the mound Tuesday for the White Sox when they open a three-game series against the Cleveland Indians.
Chicago (42-40) has one of the top pitching staffs in the AL with a 3.97 ERA, and the starting rotation has been particularly strong recently, going 6-2 with a 2.90 ERA over the last nine games. Still, on Sunday, Buehrle (8-2, 3.09 ERA) was the only White Sox player named to the AL’s All-Star team—his fourth time representing Chicago.
“That’s one of those things where people get snubbed every year,” Buehrle told the White Sox’s official Web site. “It seems we could have had at least one or two guys go, especially in pitching … But that’s the way it happens.”
The left-hander is 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA in his last three starts, and the White Sox have won his last four. Buehrle beat Kansas City on Thursday, allowing one run without walking a batter in a season-high 8 1-3 innings in a 4-1 victory.
The White Sox will hand him the ball after poor outings by Gavin Floyd(notes) and Clayton Richard(notes) in back-to-back losses to close a four-game series against the Royals over the weekend. Chicago had won seven straight before those defeats.
Chicago, though, has won 14 of 20, including last week’s three-game sweep in Cleveland (33-50).
Buehrle didn’t face the Indians in that series but he did lose to them on May 13, allowing four runs and two homers over seven innings of a 4-0 loss. He’s 1-3 with a 6.28 ERA in his last seven starts versus Cleveland.
The Indians come in following their first series victory in three weeks, winning two of three against Oakland. Cleveland lost 5-2 on Sunday, hours after general manager Mark Shapiro said embattled manager Eric Wedge will keep his job for the rest of the season.
The loss was the 14th in 18 games for the AL-worst Indians.
“We’ve had a tough first half,” Wedge said. “My job is to be out front and take the heat. I take full responsibility for all of this.”
Wedge will turn to Jeremy Sowers(notes) (2-6, 5.68) to open the series. Sowers pitched against the White Sox in his last start Wednesday, allowing five runs and 11 hits over six innings of a 6-2 loss.
Sowers is 0-5 with a 6.23 ERA in six starts against the White Sox. In three outings against them this season, he’s allowed 13 runs and 23 hits over 16 innings.
Cleveland’s Ryan Garko(notes) is hitting .345 (10 for 29) with two homers in his last eight games and he’s gone 11 for 22 against Buehrle. Victor Martinez(notes) has hit .358 (19 for 53) with three homers versus Buehrle but is in a 1-for-26 slump overall.
Garko and Martinez both homered in Cleveland’s only trip to U.S. Cellular Field this season, helping the Indians win two of three in early June. The White Sox hit .167 in that series.