White Sox 2, Blue Jays 0
CHICAGO (AP)—Mark Buehrle celebrated the birth of his first child with a dazzling performance two days later.
Buehrle (8-6), whose wife Jamie gave birth to Braden David in a St. Louis-area hospital on Thursday, scattered eight hits and struck out six with one walk. Bobby Jenks pitched a scoreless ninth for his 30th save in 35 chances.
“It’s been a long couple of days, traveling, not much sleep—not because of the baby, because of doctors coming in,” said Buehrle, who drove back to Chicago on Saturday morning. “I think next time I’m not going to get too much sleep two days before my start.”
The White Sox have won five of their last six games and the Blue Jays lost their second straight after winning a season-high five in a row.
“I haven’t been here the last couple of days. I texted some guys the past couple of nights and they said, ‘Don’t screw things up. You haven’t been here and we’ve been winning,” Buehrle said.
Danny Richar, who was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte before the game, led off the seventh inning with a single off Toronto starter Roy Halladay and on the next pitch, Owens hit a line drive over the fence in right to give the White Sox the lead.
“To be honest with you, I tried to hit a hard ground ball,” Owens said. “I happened to get under it. All the home runs that I’ve ever hit in my life have been on accident, and this one was on accident too.”
The home run broke a streak of 21 scoreless innings for Halladay (11-5). He pitched his 28th complete game and fourth this season on 119 pitches. Halladay allowed 10 hits in eight innings, with seven strikeouts and two walks.
“They each gave up hits, but that’s what the great ones do when they get in trouble. They rise up to the next level,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “That’s why they’re in the elite class. That’s what separates them.”
Buehrle avenged a 2-0 loss to Halladay on May 31. That game lasted just 1 hour, 50 minutes. This one took 2 hours, 7 minutes.
“My theory in a game is win quick, lose quick. Whatever you do, get the ball and throw it. There is no reason to take your time out there,” said Buehrle. “Anytime you go up against a guy like that, you have to go out there and be dominant to give your team a chance.”
Buehrle made a smart play in the sixth inning. John McDonald led off with a bloop to center that dropped out of the reach of center fielder Owens. Both middle infielders had run into the outfield to make the play, and shortstop Juan Uribe picked the ball up and threw to Buehrle, who was covering second and tagged out McDonald.
Halladay got a nice defensive play from McDonald in the sixth inning. With Paul Konerko on third and two outs, McDonald dove to the ground to stop Scott Podsednik’s ball and threw him out from his knees to end the inning.
Buehrle got into trouble in the seventh, but was able to pitch out of it. With one out and runners on first and third. Buehrle got Lyle Overbay to go too far on a check swing and then Gregg Zaun hit a bouncer to first baseman Konerko, who flipped the ball to Buehrle at first to keep Toronto scoreless.
Halladay knows what to expect when he faces Buehrle.
“It’s always a challenge, especially against a guy like him,” Halladay said. “Every time I’ve pitched against him it’s been a one- or two-run game. So you know there’s not going to be a lot of room.”
A night after Toronto starter Josh Towers was critical of his teammates and the coaching staff, the Blue Jays held a players-only meeting before the game.
Zaun said he wasn’t surprised by Towers’ comments after he tried to calm down the pitcher several times during the game.
“I always understand frustration,” Zaun said. “I never understand throwing teammates and coaches under the bus.”
Richar made his major league debut at second base for the White Sox. He started and hit ninth in the batting order. Richar, who took the roster spot vacated by Tadahito Iguchi, was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte before the game. Iguchi was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday. Richar got his first career hit in his first at-bat in the second inning. … Toronto RHP A.J. Burnett is expected to go on a rehab assignment on Wednesday according to Gibbons. Burnett is out because of a right shoulder strain.