The All-Star left-hander makes his first start since throwing the majors’ 18th perfect game as the White Sox continue a three-game series at the Metrodome on Tuesday night.
The 30-year-old Buehrle (11-3, 3.28 ERA) struck out six and received a spectacular over-the-wall grab by center fielder Dewayne Wise(notes) in the ninth inning of a 5-0 win over Tampa Bay on Thursday, recording the majors’ first perfect game since Randy Johnson(notes) on May 18, 2004.
Two years after tossing a no-hitter against Texas, Buehrle threw the AL’s first perfect game since David Cone’s for the New York Yankees on July 18, 1999.
“Obviously, anytime your name gets up there with some of the greats in the game, that means a lot,” Buehrle said. “I think it’s a thing when you retire and sit back and see how many perfect games have been thrown—and your name’s in there—I think I’m going to sit back and be surprised.”
Buehrle, who has allowed one run in 16 1-3 innings while winning his last two starts, received a postgame congratulatory call from White Sox fan Barack Obama.
“He said, ‘Congratulations, and it’s an honor. A lot of people are going to remember this forever,’” Buehrle said of his 30-second call with the President.
While Buehrle tries to put the hoopla of his last start behind him, he’ll look for a better effort against the Twins after giving up a season-high eight runs in 3 1-3 innings of a 13-7 loss at Minnesota on July 12. Though he’s 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA against the Twins this season, Buehrle has lost his last three outings at the Metrodome.
He looks to help the White Sox (51-49) bounce back after falling 4-3 in Monday’s series opener.
Michael Cuddyer(notes) hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning to rally the Twins (50-50), who moved within one game of the second-place White Sox in the AL Central after beating them for the 12th time in the last 14 meetings at the Metrodome.
Cuddyer is batting .317 (13 for 41) with three homers and eight RBIs against Chicago this season, and .316 (24 for 76) with two home runs versus Buehrle.
The right-hander allowed five runs in 6 1-3 innings to beat Buehrle on July 12, but has pitched better in two starts since the All-Star break as he’s allowed three runs and struck out 14 in 13 innings.
Baker lost his other start of the season versus the White Sox and is 4-3 with a 6.88 ERA in 10 career starts against them.
The frustration of their recent play may have boiled over after a sloppy second inning during which the Twins scored twice on two singles and two errors.
“It happened, it’s over, and move on,” Pierzynski said.