SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Barry Zito will not blame bad karma for his pitching woes.
Zito became the first Giants pitcher to open a season with eight losses since 1890 when he was outpitched by struggling starter Mark Buerhle in San Francisco’s 3-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Saturday night.
“I haven’t done much bad in this lifetime,” the 2002 Cy Young Award winner said. “I want to go out there and be aggressive and compete. It’s not going to benefit me to think about the past. What will benefit me is asking, ‘What can I do today to make it better?”’
Zito (0-8) worked five innings and gave up only two runs in matching Jesse Burkett’s record. Zito allowed eight hits and a season-high six walks and struck out four. He has lost six straight in interleague play.
Buerhle (2-5) pitched into the seventh inning to end a five-game skid. He allowed one run on seven hits in 6 2-3 innings. He walked three and struck out one.
“I got into a couple of jams and pitched out of them,” Buerhle said. “The defense made some good plays behind me. Everything kind of came together today. We scored enough runs and I got the W.”
He also got his first hit in five years, and he felt good about it.
“That’s the first one I hit hard,” said Buerhle, who was given the ball as a souvenir. “The other two were 18-bouncers somewhere.”
“That’s the ugliest two-run game I’ve seen in my life,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “We needed that win for Buerhle. He pitched well.”
The Giants have yet to score more than three runs for Zito in any of his nine starts. He left the game for the sixth time with one run or less of support.
“We have to battle every day,” Zito said. “We have to look at what we’re doing and how we got there. If we’re not doing the right things consistently we have adjustments to make.”
White Sox slugger Jermaine Dye—he had three hits and made a spectacular diving catch in right field—visited with Zito, his former teammate on Oakland, before Friday’s game.
“He looks the same to me. He just hasn’t been able to get it done,” Dye said. “I played with him for four years and he’s as good as it gets. To me it looks like mentally he’s trying to do too much. I told him that sooner or later he’d pull through, but just not tonight.”
Pinch-hitter Eugenio Velez’s groundout plated the Giants’ lone run.
“The bats are quiet right now,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “We need a big hit and these guys are probably pressing a little bit.”
Cabrera and Pablo Ozuna opened the game with singles ahead of Quentin’s sacrifice fly. Alexi Ramirez and Toby Hall, who had three hits, opened the second with singles and Buerhle moved them over with a sacrifice ahead of Cabrera’s sacrifice fly.
Jose Castillo opened the fifth with a double, went to third on an infield groundout and scored when Velez slapped a ball to second base.
Giants OF Randy Winn singled in the first to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. … The White Sox are the final AL team to visit San Francisco’s new ballpark. … Zito and Buerhle combined for 209 wins between 2000-07. Buerhle won 19 games in 2002, when Zito won the Cy Young Award, and both have won 10 or more games in each of the past seven seasons. … Dotel struck out the only batter he faced and has at least one strikeout in 17 of his 18 appearances.