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Buehrle sharp as South Siders blank Indians

SportsLine.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Mark Buehrle was in a hurry on opening day.

Working quickly, throwing strikes and letting his fielders get involved, Chicago's lefty was in rare form.

"We have a good defense, so let them put the ball in play," Buehrle said Monday after pitching the White Sox past the Cleveland Indians 1-0.

Buehrle retired the first 12 batters and allowed just two hits in eight innings. The first White Sox season opener at home in 15 years took just one hour and 51 minutes to play.

"Buehrle was as good as I've ever seen him," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said.

Wedge's starter, Jake Westbrook, wasn't bad either, giving up just four hits in eight innings and getting the first complete game of the season.

"You got to match him pitch-for pitch," Westbrook said. "It's tough to go out and continue to put up zeros. He one-upped me today."

Playing its first season opener at home since the final year of old Comiskey Park in 1990, Chicago finally broke the scoreless duel in the seventh, thanks to an error by Indians shortstop Jhonny Peralta.

Paul Konerko doubled down the left-field line, moved to third on Jermaine Dye's fly to right and scored as Peralta misplayed Aaron Rowand's one-out grounder. Peralta was the first player other than Omar Vizquel to start for the Indians at shortstop since 1993.

"If the guy throws the ball, I'm going to be out probably," said Konerko, a slow runner.

"He started to run and I started to go into the ball. I couldn't catch the ball," Peralta said. "It was a little bit tough. It played hard off the field."

Shingo Takatsu pitched a perfect ninth for the save.

Buehrle hurt his foot shagging flies on March 20 and had to skip a spring training start before making a quick recovery. He has started four straight openers for the White Sox.

"He's unbelievable. I know his foot is bothering him," Konerko said.

"It wasn't that big of a deal," Buehrle said. "I missed one (spring training) start. I felt strong out there."

The AL leader in innings pitched last season, he didn't allow a runner until Victor Martinez led off the fifth with a single to center on a 3-2 pitch, the ball shooting through Buehrle's legs. Martinez was then erased in a double play.

Buehrle allowed only two other runners: Coco Crisp singled in the seventh and Travis Hafner walked before the White Sox turned another double play.

Last July at Jacobs Field, Buehrle retired his first 19 batters before giving up a single to Vizquel, and faced the minimum 27 batters in the two-hit shutout.

"It kind of went through my head, especially once the guy got a hit and the double play and back to facing a minimum number of guys," Buehrle said.

Westbrook was just as tough, allowing only two hits in the first six innings, singles to Dye in the second and Konerko in the fourth.

Notes

  • Cleveland is expected to announce a long-term contract for catcher Victor Martinez at a news conference Tuesday. Martinez batted .283 with 23 homers and 108 RBI last season and made the AL All-Star team. "I can't say. I can't say anything about that until it happens," Martinez said after Monday's game. The Indians have been talking to Martinez's agent for a few months, trying to work out a deal for their 26-year-old catcher and cleanup hitter. Martinez was originally signed as a non-draft eligible free agent by Cleveland in 1996. He broke in with the Indians in 2002, playing in 12 games. He played in 49 games in 2003 and then had his breakout 141-game season a year ago.
  • Attendance on a sunny 64-degree day was announced at 38,141.
  • In the last White Sox opener at home, they beat Milwaukee 2-1.
  • Cleveland's Aaron Boone played his first game since the 2003 World Series with the New York Yankees. The third baseman, who missed last season due to a pair of knee operations following an injury during a pickup basketball game, was 0-for-3 but made several nice defensive plays.
  • Buehrle threw 102 pitches, Westbrook 101.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle gives up only two hits in eight innings to pick up the win. (AP)
White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle gives up only two hits in eight innings to pick up the win. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

P. Konerko
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Chicago

M. Buehrle
IP 8.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 1
K 5
 
Cleveland Indians
Coco Crisp, CF4010010 .250
Ron Belliard, 2B3000001 .000
Travis Hafner, DH2000110 .000
Victor Martinez, C3010001 .333
Aaron Boone, 3B3000001 .000
Casey Blake, RF3000000 .000
Ben Broussard, 1B3000010 .000
Jose Hernandez, LF2000010 .000
   a- Alex Cora, PH1000010 .000
Jhonny Peralta, SS2000010 .000
   b- Grady Sizemore, PH1000000 .000
Totals27020163 
a-struck out for Hernandez in the 9th
b-flied out for Peralta in the 9th
Fielding
DP - Peralta-Belliard-Broussard
E - Jhonny Peralta (1, misplayed grounder)
Cleveland Indians
Jake Westbrook (L,0-1) 8411130 1.13
Pitches-Strikes - Jake Westbrook 101-72
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Westbrook 17-4
Batters Faced - Jake Westbrook 29
Chicago White Sox
Scott Podsednik, LF3000110 .000
Tadahito Iguchi, 2B4000011 .000
Carl Everett, DH3000010 .000
Paul Konerko, 1B3120000 .667
    Ross Gload, 1B0000000 .000
Jermaine Dye, RF3010002 .333
Aaron Rowand, CF3001001 .000
A.J. Pierzynski, C3010001 .333
Joe Crede, 3B3000001 .000
Juan Uribe, SS3000000 .000
Totals28141136 
Batting
2B - Paul Konerko (1, Westbrook)
RBI - Aaron Rowand (1)
SB - Aaron Rowand (1, 2nd base off Westbrook/Martinez)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Crede-Iguchi-Konerko, Crede-Iguchi-Konerko
Chicago White Sox
Mark Buehrle (W,1-0) 8200150 0.00
Shingo Takatsu (S,1) 1000010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Buehrle 103-65, Shingo Takatsu 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Buehrle 10-7, Shingo Takatsu 1-1
Batters Faced - Mark Buehrle 25, Shingo Takatsu 3
Game Information
Attendance - 38141
Game Time - 1:51
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Rick Reed, First Base - Terry Craft, Second Base - Ted Barrett, Third Base - Alfonso Marquez