- Sports & Recreation
- Mark Buehrle
- Toronto Blue Jay
- Chicago White Sox
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By The Sports Xchange April 16, 2013 12:01 AM
Mark Buehrle said it felt weird facing the Chicago White Sox, his team of 12 major-league seasons.TORONTO -
He had never faced them before Monday night when he held them to nine hits and two runs in 6 1/3 innings in a 4-3 victory to earn his first win as a Toronto Blue Jay. "Obviously it was a little crazy," the left-hander said. "I tried not to take a look at too many guys as they stepped in the batter's box because I knew I'd start laughing or something bad would happen, so I just tried to focus on the glove, which is not me, I'm usually looking around and having fun." Buehrle (1-0) gave up two runs on four hits in the first inning and shut down his former team until he left with one out in the seventh to an ovation from the crowd of 15,755 at Rogers Centre. "It had to be an emotional night for him, pitching against his old team and all his old buddies so that's not easy," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He settled down after that first inning and did a great job and took us into the seventh inning. So I know that he feeds good." J.P. Arencibia and Maicer Izturis hit solo home runs for Toronto against right-hander Gavin Floyd (0-3) who allowed four runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. Casey Janssen pitched the ninth for his fourth save. But the focus was on Buehrle. "Once he got through that first inning it kind of became a clinic on hitting spots, changing speeds," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Buehrle. "You've seen this his whole career. He's just a smart pitcher. Guys like him, they can pitch at this level because they're smart and they don't have to throw 95 to get people out. It's something I know White Sox people have seen forever. It was a clinic." Buehrle pitched only for the White Sox (5-8) before going to the Miami Marlins last year and was obtained by the Blue Jays (6-7) in a big offseason trade. "It felt a little weird and it's not really something you want to have to deal with, for me anyway, just because I played with him for so long," said White Sox DH Paul Konerko, who singled in a first-inning run and struck out with two runners on base to end the fifth. "I don't think I had much fun with it, and I don't think he did, either. But it was a good ballgame, he pitched well." Buehrle left with a 4-2 lead, but the White Sox cut the lead to one against left-hander Aaron Loup, who entered the game with one out in the eighth. Loup hit Adam Dunn with a pitch, gave up a double to Dayan Viciedo (his third hit of the game) and yielded a sacrifice fly to Alexei Ramirez. Edwin Encarnacion had three singles for the Blue Jays and Adam Lind had two hits, including a double, and also had a walk. Each team scored twice in the first inning. Jeff Keppinger and Alex Rios singled for the White Sox and scored on singles by Konerko and Viciedo. The Blue Jays answered with a double by Emilio Bonifacio, a passed ball, a sacrifice fly by Melky Cabrera and a home run by Arencibia, his fourth of the season. The Blue Jays had a chance to score more after an infield single by Encarnacion and a double by Lind, but Mark DeRosa and Colby Rasmus struck out. Izturis led off the Blue Jays' second with his second homer of the season. Toronto took a 4-2 lead in the fourth after Munenori Kawasaki tripled to left-center with one out and came home on Bonifacio's sacrifice fly to the warning track in right. Kawasaki was promoted from Class AAA Buffalo after shortstop Jose Reyes suffered a sprained ankle on Friday. Left-hander Hector Santiago induced a double-play grounder from Izturis to end the fifth after he took over from Floyd with one out. Buehrle's big moment came in the fifth when he struck out Konerko on a 3-2 curveball with runners at the corners and two outs. "I know how great of a hitter he is," Buehrle said. "I just had to try to make some pitches. I feel they had a little advantage on me knowing me, knowing I throw a lot of changeups behind in the count. J.P. (catcher Arencibia) threw down a curveball 3-2, which I don't throw too many of them. It was a great combination the way we went at them. It was a big situation right there." "Sometimes you have two choices," Konerko said. "You stand up there and you strike out looking or you swing the bat on a pitch you don't want to swing at or shouldn't have to." NOTES: After the game the Blue Jays announced that third baseman Brett Lawrie (strained left oblique) would come off the disabled list on Tuesday and that right-hander Sergio Santos (strained right triceps) would go on the DL ...Blue Jays' right fielder Jose Bautista did not start because of a sore back but is expected to return on Tuesday or Wednesday.. ... The Blue Jays designated for assignment outfielder Casper Wells and called up right-hander Ramon Ortiz. ... White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham will undergo surgery Tuesday morning at the Cleveland Clinic to repair a hamate bone fracture of his left hand. He suffered the injury on April 9 at Washington and could miss up to six weeks. ... White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper has returned to Chicago to continue his recovery from diverticulitis. Bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen will serve as pitching coach for the rest of the trip with Mark Salas handling the bullpen with pitching coordinator Curt Hasler assisting. ... Right-hander Dylan Axelrod (0-1, 5.79 ERA) is the scheduled starter for the White Sox on Tuesday with Toronto going with right-hander Josh Johnson (0-1, 11.05 ERA).