CHICAGO (AP)—The Chicago White Sox leaned on old reliables Mark Buehrle and A.J. Pierzynski and got a lift from two backups to beat Toronto ace Ray Halladay and end the Blue Jays’ 10-game winning streak.
With regulars Paul Konerko, Carlos Quentin and Joe Crede sidelined by injuries, the first-place White Sox got help from Jerry Owens and Brian Anderson to beat the Blue Jays 6-5 Wednesday night to stay one game ahead of Minnesota in the AL Central.
“They’d won 10 in a row and to win this game is huge, especially with their ace on the mound,” said Pierzynski, who had three RBIs against Halladay.
Anderson’s pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth gave Chicago a 6-2 lead and it turned out to be a pivotal one after the Blue Jays rallied for three in the ninth off Bobby Jenks.
“You never think it’s going to be that exciting when Bobby’s in and your up by four,” Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said.
It marked the most runs the White Sox have scored in a win without hitting a homer since May 21, 2007. Owens, starting in center so Ken Griffey Jr. could rest after a doubleheader, got an RBI with a squeeze bunt in Chicago’s three-run sixth.
“If we don’t have the guys who hit home runs in the lineup, we have to try to do something different,” Guillen said.
The Blue Jays fell one victory short of tying the longest winning streak in team history, set in 1987 and matched in 1998.
Toronto started the day on the fringe of the AL wild-card race. The Blue Jays lost to the White Sox for the first time in seven meetings this year.
“I’ve never had a loss that wasn’t frustrating,” said Halladay, who’d won five in a row. He lasted six innings, giving up nine hits and five runs.
“It doesn’t matter if you’ve won 10 or lost 10. … But given how well we’ve been playing, yeah it’s disappointing. But you have to get over it. …”
Buehrle (13-11) worked quickly and efficiently, giving up seven singles in 7 1-3 innings. He walked two and struck out six.
It marked the sixth career matchup between Buehrle and Halladay. Buehrle is now 2-1 and Halladay 1-2 in their meetings.
“To get two runs early was a nice cushion. I didn’t think he’d give up five runs,” Buehrle said. “When you go against a guy like that. … you can’t give up many runs.”
Mark Scutaro then hit an RBI double to make it 6-4 and put runners at second and third with one out. Jose Bautista’s RBI grounder cut it to 6-5 and put a runner at third before Jenks struck out Rios to end the game.
Halladay (18-10) experienced a tough first inning when he threw 29 pitches and Chicago scored twice. The five earned runs matched the most Halladay had given up in a game this season.
Chicago had batted only .144 against the Blue Jays this year while being outscored 23-8, but was able to get to Toronto’s ace.
“It’s tough. You give up that many runs and you rally back within a run,” Halladay said. “You know how important every single one of those are. We did a great job against a great pitcher getting back, but it’s a big hole to work out of.”
Thome opened the sixth with a single, Alexei Ramirez doubled and Pierzynski hit a two-run double into the right-field corner to make it 4-0. After Juan Uribe singled, Pierzynski scored on a suicide squeeze bunt by Owens.
Toronto is considering pitching Halladay, A.J. Burnett and Jesse Litsch on short rest this weekend against Boston. … The White Sox will use Javier Vazquez on three days’ rest. Vazquez, who pitched the opener of a doubleheader on Tuesday, is the scheduled starter Saturday against Detroit.