White Sox 9, Rangers 0

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CHICAGO (AP)—Mark Buehrle’s follow-up performance gave the Chicago White Sox back-to-back shutouts for the first time in nine years.

One night after Esteban Loaiza and Shingo Takatsu blanked Texas on two hits, Buehrle and two relievers shut out the Rangers again as the White Sox rolled to a 9-0 win Thursday night.

“You always want to go out there and do better than the guy did before. So I joked with (Loaiza) and said I couldn’t do that—only two hits,” Buehrle said.

“So with this good offense out there, you just got to go out there and try to throw as many zeros.”

Buehrle (5-1) won his fourth straight start, allowing nine hits in seven innings before Jon Adkins and Billy Koch completed the shutout.

It’s the first consecutive shutouts for the White Sox since they blanked Kansas City Sept. 26-27, 1995.

Texas, which entered the game with a .284 team batting average, hadn’t been shut out all season before Wednesday.

“I think we just ran up against Chicago’s 1 and 2 pitchers,” said Eric Young, who was 4-for-4 for the Rangers. “They are not going to let anybody come in their house and score a a lot of runs.”

Buehrle’s ERA during his four-game winning streak is just 0.65 (two earned runs in 27 2-3 innings) and he’s been showered with run support.

Jose Valentin hit a three-run homer in the first Thursday night and Juan Uribe added solo shots in the fifth and seventh innings. The White Sox have scored 43 runs in Buehrle’s last four starts.

“I’m dialed in, but the offense seems like they score seven or eight runs at least every start,” he said. “It’s easy. If you can’t pitch with leads like this. …”

Carlos Lee had a strong night for Chicago with two singles, extending his hitting streak to 14 games, and a sacrifice fly. He also made a great throw to cut down Chad Allen at the plate when he tried to score from second on Eric Young’s single in the second. Lee also made a nice slide around catcher Ken Huckabay to score on Paul Konerko’s sacrifice fly in the fifth.

Texas starter Ryan Drese (2-2) lasted just 4 1-3 innings, giving up seven runs and eight hits.

Buehrle gave up singles to the first two hitters of the game before retiring the side and surrendered another single and a walk in the second before Lee’s strong throw bailed him out.

It was the second straight night a White Sox outfielder threw out a Texas runner at the plate. Aaron Rowand did it Wednesday.

“Lee made a great throw,” Texas manager Buck Showalter said, adding he would have been upset if third base coach Steve Smith didn’t send the runners. “You make them make those throws, tip your hat and move on.”

With two outs in the first, Frank Thomas and Lee singled before Valentin hit a long homer to straightaway center, his seventh of the season. Valentin had struck out seven straight times before singling in his final at-bat Tuesday.

Chicago loaded the bases in the third and scored two more on Lee’s sacrifice fly and an RBI single by Konerko.

The White Sox made it 7-0 and drove out Drese in the fifth as Uribe led off his with his sixth homer, Lee and Valentin singled and Konerko delivered hissacrifice fly. Uribe homered off Rosman Garcia in the seventh.

Uribe is now batting .348 and has been the biggest surprise of the season for Chicago.

“This kid will be in the lineup no matter if he has to be behind the plate,” Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said.

“I never thought my best hitter was going to be Uribe when I got this job.And he is right now.”

Notes

White Sox RF Magglio Ordonez sat out a second straight game with a sore calf muscle but it is expected back Friday. … Uribe’s two-homer game was the third of his career. … Hank Blalock went 1-for-4 and is just 3-for-19 in his last five games. … The Rangers were last shut out in back-to-back games June 12-13, 2003, against the Mets and Marlins … Texas is now 4-14 in its last 18 games at U.S. Cellular Field. … The White Sox now have pitched five shutoutsthis season, one more than all of 2003.

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