White Sox 5, Royals 1
CHICAGO (AP)—Mark Buehrle finally gave up a run in an otherwise dominant outing.
The White Sox enter this weekend’s series with the crosstown rival Cubs at 49-22, the best record in the majors.
“It almost feels like I can go out there and dominate a game,” Buehrle said.
Which is exactly what he did.
Buehrle (9-1) allowed five hits, his scoreless streak ending at 25 1-3 innings when the Royals scored an unearned run in the eighth. He walked one and struck out six in eight innings, and Carl Everett backed him with a three-run homer.
“I’m not saying it’s easy,” Buehrle said. “I’m going out and having some good luck, making my pitches.”
Buehrle is making a strong case to start the All-Star game, as is teammate Jon Garland, who leads the majors with 12 wins. Manager Ozzie Guillen hopes neither starts, but he wants them to be selected.
“I know the All-Star game means a lot to the players,” said Guillen, a three-time selection. “It’s an honor for any player to represent and make the team, but … as a manager, you don’t want him to be used.”
Everett had two hits, and two of Paul Konerko’s three hits were doubles.
J.P. Howell (1-2) allowed five runs and seven hits in his third major league start for the Royals, who were swept in the three-game series. Emil Brown extended his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games with a single in the fourth.
Buehrle’s last loss was April 10, and he got off to another strong start Wednesday, retiring 11 of the first 12 batters. The White Sox scored twice with two outs in the third, and Everett hit his 10th homer to make it 5-0 with two outs in the fifth.
Both rallies started after Howell retired the first two batters.
“We talk about speed, (but) all of a sudden I look at the field and it’s Frank, Konerko and Carl Everett hitting,” Guillen said. “I said, ‘Oh, there’s no speed at all.”’
All they had to do was jog after Everett turned on a 2-2 fastball.
“He’s a fastball hitter, and I went in with a fastball,” Howell said. “I should’ve thrown anything but that pitch there.”
Those five runs were plenty for Buehrle.
He has pitched at least six innings in 43 consecutive starts, the longest such streak in the majors in almost six years. Curt Schilling lasted six innings in 43 straight starts for Philadelphia from June 2, 1998 to July 18, 1999.
“It just means I’m going out there and giving the team a good chance to win,” Buehrle said. “I’m not getting knocked around too much the first two, three innings.”
“It would have been nice to keep it going, but (I’ll) start another one,” Buehrle said.
The White Sox swept Kansas City for the third time this season. Next, they face their intracity rival, the Cubs.
“We look at it as another team,” Dye said.
The White Sox’s seven-game winning streak is one shy of their season high. … Everett has 15 RBIs over his last 11 games. … Royals reliever Mike Wood, who allowed one hit and one walk, has not allowed a run in five of his last six appearances. … The Royals are hitting .192 against the White Sox in nine games this season.