Buehrle could reach 200 innings for the 11th straight season Wednesday night when the White Sox play the Cleveland Indians.
Chicago’s left-hander is 7 2-3 innings shy of 200, a number he’s reached each year starting in 2001, when he first became a mainstay in the rotation. Should Buehrle (11-9, 3.74 ERA) reach the mark at Progressive Field, he would be the sixth pitcher to have a streak that ended in 1980 or later of 11 or more seasons with 200-plus innings.
Four of the other hurlers - Don Sutton, Gaylord Perry, Phil Niekro and Steve Carlton - are Hall of Famers. The fifth, Greg Maddux, is a virtual lock for enshrinement once he becomes eligible.
While Buehrle appears poised to join that lofty group, he comes in trying to avoid his first four-start losing streak in nearly 1 1/2 years.
Buehrle has compiled an 11.74 ERA while dropping all three of his starts this month. He was charged with seven runs and a career-worst 15 hits in Thursday’s 7-2 loss to Kansas City, exiting after 6 1-3 innings when he was struck in the left biceps by a line drive.
“I could have stayed in but there’s no reason when you’re getting your fanny handed to you,” said Buehrle, who last lost four straight starts April 16-May 2, 2010.
Buehrle is 14-17 with a 4.81 ERA in his career against the Indians, faring slightly better - 7-7 with a 4.21 ERA - in 22 games at Cleveland.
Looking for a strong finish with his new team will be Cleveland’s Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) (4-2, 4.56). The right-hander has won each of his last two starts, surrendering five runs and eight hits over 12 1-3 innings.
Jimenez is 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA in his last five starts after going 1-1 with a 7.29 ERA in his first four outings for the Indians after being acquired from Colorado at the trade deadline.
“It means a lot for me, especially the way I started the season,” said Jimenez, who went 6-9 for the Rockies on the heels of a career-best 19-win season in 2010. “The first two, three months of the season wasn’t easy for me.”
Jimenez is 1-0 with a 4.08 ERA in three starts against the White Sox this year.
The Indians and White Sox split a day-night doubleheader Tuesday to begin this four-game set.
“It made the day a little bit nicer,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Cabrera. who went 1 for 4 in the second game, is 8 for 13 in his last three contests.
“I’m really happy with what I’ve done, but I haven’t thought too much about it,” said Cabrera, 8 for 28 (.211) with a double in his career off Buehrle.
The White Sox, who trail the Indians by 1 1/2 games for second in the AL Central, lead the season series 10-6.