White Sox 4, Red Sox 2
CHICAGO (AP)—Even if he tried, Mark Buehrle couldn’t forget just how long it had been since he won a game.
If he did, Chicago White Sox fans were always there to remind him.
The left-hander hopes both streaks—the losing and the booing—ended with Chicago’s 4-2 win over the Boston Red Sox on Monday night.
“I just didn’t want these fans booing me anymore,” he said after winning for the first time in 13 starts. “It’s been 2 1/2 months since I’ve had a win. I’ve had some decent starts. The offense just wasn’t there.”
It was against the Red Sox. But it took awhile.
The White Sox, held to one run in five innings against Martinez, broke through in a three-run sixth against Ryan Rupe (1-1). Martinez was making his second start since coming off the disabled list and left after 71 pitches as Boston tries to ease him back into form.
That was all Buehrle (3-10) needed.
“You have to tip your hat to this offense for battling against Pedro,” Buehrle said. “Then the bullpen came in and we took advantage of it.”
Buehrle retired 15 of 16 batters after giving up a homer to Manny Ramirez in the third inning. Buehrle allowed two runs—one earned—and four hits in eight innings for his first win since April 10. He lost his previous nine decisions.
White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said he met with Buehrle before the game and tried to loosen up the former 19-game winner.
“We kind of laughed about it before the game. I said, ‘Hey this is a great chance for you to break out against one of the elite pitchers,”’ he said. “And he did.”
Martinez lived up to the high praise, at least for six innings.
He missed about four weeks with an inflamed tendon and a strained muscle on his right side. He pitched three scoreless innings in his first start back before allowing six hits against the White Sox.
That wasn’t enough. Boston’s bullpen didn’t allow a run in 12 2-3 innings during a three-game sweep against Houston, including eight scoreless innings in Sunday’s 14-inning win. But Rupe couldn’t preserve the one-run lead against Chicago.
“I thought I threw the ball well, got loose for a while and made one really bad pitch,” Rupe said.
The Red Sox broke on top in the first when Bill Mueller reached on a one-out error by second baseman D’Angelo Jimenez, advanced to third on Nomar Garciaparra’s single and scored on a sacrifice fly from Ramirez.
Ramirez’s 15th homer made it 2-0 in the third but that’s all Boston could manage off Buehrle.
Chicago got a run in the fifth inning. Martinez walked Konerko with one out before Crede and Josh Paul followed with singles to make it 2-1. Willie Harris singled to load the bases but Martinez got out of the jam without any more damage.
Jimenez popped out for the second out before Martinez won a showdown with Frank Thomas, who had homered in five of his last seven games.
Thomas fouled off seven pitches before Martinez struck him out looking on a slow curve. Thomas didn’t like the call, jawing briefly with home plate umpire Bill Hohn as he walked back to the dugout.
“Pedro was outstanding out there. He’s feeling good,” Boston manager Grady Little said. “He showed us how he was feeling in that last at-bat against Thomas.
“We hate that the situation came to that, where he had to throw so many pitches. We felt that was enough for him at that point.”
Martinez threw 10 pitches to Thomas and 29 in the inning, finishing his night. The Red Sox wanted to hold Martinez to fewer than 80 pitches. Hedeclined to comment after the game.
Boston OF Johnny Damon was caught stealing in the fifth inning. It was the first steal attempt against Buehrle this season. … Garciaparra has hit in safely in 41 of the last 43 games. … Harris, who was activated Monday fromthe 15-day DL, was 2-for-4.