Chicago (58-52) at Seattle (67-43)

Cloudy Currently: Seattle, WA, US
Temp: 54° F
  • Game info: 4:05 pm EDT Sun Aug 3, 2003
  • TV: FSCH, FSNW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Mark Buehrle hasn’t just turned his season around. He’s turned the Chicago White Sox into a playoff contender.

The left-hander looks to resume his inspiring resurgence when the White Sox complete a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.

Buehrle, who won 19 games last year, began this season a dismal 2-10 as Chicago appeared to slip out of contention early in the AL Central race.

However, Buehrle has bounced back with a vengeance, going 7-0 over his last nine starts as the White Sox have played their way back into the thick of the playoff hunt.

On Tuesday, Buehrle moved within one victory of the .500 mark, beating the division rival Kansas City Royals 9-6 at Kauffman Stadium. He surrendered three runs and nine hits over 6 1-3 innings, striking out three without a walk.

“Mark Buehrle gives us a chance,” White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said. “He’s going to do everything he can to keep a team in check.”

After going 12 starts and more than two months between victories from April 10-June 11, Buehrle is boasting a 2.88 ERA over his last nine outings.

The White Sox slipped one game behind first-place Kansas City in the Central after Saturday’s 10-0 loss to Seattle. The loss was just Chicago’s second in 15 games, and first on the road since July 12.

John Olerud hit a grand slam and a three-run homer for the Mariners, who opened a four-game lead over second-place Oakland in the AL West.

STANDINGS: White Sox - 2nd place, 1 GB, AL Central. Mariners - 1st place, AL West.

WHITE SOX PROBABLE STARTER: Buehrle (9-10, 4.21 ERA). Buehrle is 2-2 with a 2.65 ERA in six career appearances, including five starts, against the Mariners.

MARINERS PROBABLE STARTER: Gil Meche (11-7, 3.86 ERA). Meche had lost four straight starts before Tuesday’s 11-5 victory over Detroit. The right-hander allowed three runs and seven hits over six innings, while striking out four and walking three. Meche is 3-2 with a 4.40 ERA in five career starts against the White Sox.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: White Sox - Magglio Ordonez, .319 avg. and 68 runs; Frank Thomas, 25 HRs; Carlos Lee, 75 RBIs and 10 SBs. Mariners - Ichiro Suzuki, .338 avg. and 27 SBs; Bret Boone, 28 HRs and 87 RBIs; Suzuki and Boone, 79 runs.

SEASON SERIES: Mariners, 5-2.

STREAKS AND NOTES: White Sox - 1B-DH Thomas is 0-for-16 since getting his 1,999th career hit. … OF Lee is 4-for-13 (.308) with a homer and two RBIs in his career against RHP Meche. … LHP Buehrle is 5-6 with a 4.05 ERA in 14 road starts this year. Mariners - The Mariners called up RHP Aaron Looper from Triple-A Tacoma and sent RHP Aaron Taylor back down on Saturday. Looper was 3-2 with a 3.09 ERA and three saves in 39 games with Tacoma. Taylor was 0-0 with an 8.53 ERA and no saves in 10 games with Seattle. Looper pitched a hitless inning Saturday … The Mariners lead the majors with 14 shutouts this season. … 1B Olerud’s seven RBIs on Saturday were a career high.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: White Sox - 25-32 on the road; Mariners - 34-24 at home.

INJURIES: White Sox - None. Mariners - 3B Jeff Cirillo (shoulder), 15-day DL; INF Greg Colbrunn (wrist), 15-day DL; INF Carlos Guillen (pelvis), 15-day DL; RHP Kazuhiro Sasaki (ribs), 15-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Buehrle TOR vs. G. Meche KC
14-14 Record 15-13
4.14 ERA 4.59
119 K 130
61 BB 63
1.35 WHIP 1.34