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Pirates fall to White Sox, tie longest losing streak in club history

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- The Chicago White Sox gave the Pittsburgh Pirates a lesson in how the good clubs do it. The Pirates must be wondering how much worse it can get.

Mark Buehrle limited Pittsburgh to two runs over seven innings and the White Sox ran the Pirates' record-tying losing streak to 12 games, quickly building a three-run lead before holding on for a 4-2 victory Tuesday night.

The Pirates' losing streak matches a 12-game slide in 1939 as their longest in baseball's modern era, which began in 1900. The only longer streak in franchise history was a 23-game slide in 1890, a season so bad that the club changed its name from the Pittsburg Alleghenies to the Pirates a year after going 23-113.

This time, the team with the second-best record in the majors met the one with the second-worst, and with a predictable result. The World Series champion White Sox led 3-0 before Pirates starter Ian Snell got out of the second inning, and never lost the lead in improving to 11-2 in interleague play.

"It's a little frustrating facing them," Snell said. "You have to battle against a team like that and it's hard. They do every little thing they need to win. They're perfect in almost every aspect. It's unreal."

Scott Podsednik, Tadahito Iguchi and Jim Thome singled to start the game, and A.J. Pierzynski followed with a one-out RBI single to make it 2-0. Pierzynski's base-running mistake may have cost the White Sox a bigger inning as he was caught between second and third following a single by Rob Mackowiak that loaded the bases, and Thome was subsequently tagged out at third during the ensuing rundown.

Despite that, Juan Uribe doubled to start the second and scored on Podsednik's sacrifice fly to make it 3-0. It was one of seven White Sox hits in the first two innings and 10 in five innings against Snell (7-5). At least he kept the White Sox in the park -- they failed to homer despite having a major league-best 111 this season.

Craig Wilson hit his 12th for the Pirates, a solo shot in the seventh. Joe Randa barely missed hitting another, a potential pinch-hit grand slam that left fielder Podsednik caught with his back to the wall to end the fifth.

"He missed by inches," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said, his voice reflecting the weariness the Pirates feel after going winless for two weeks. "We didn't do anything wrong. They just played a little better. When you're that good, when you've played on the stage they played on last year, they come to the ballpark knowing they're going to be almost perfect every night."

The Pirates had won four of five before their losing streak, prompting White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen to say, "Even though those guys are struggling, I like what I see in those kids. They're going to be a pretty good ballclub soon."

But when? The Pirates must go 56-28 the rest of the way to avoid a 14th consecutive losing season.

"We do," Tracy said when asked if the Pirates need to find a way -- any way -- to win a game. "We need to try to get that stigma out of here."

Still, Buehrle was relieved he didn't have a letdown. He won his third in a row after losing two straight, giving up seven hits and two runs over seven innings despite striking out one.

"I don't like facing teams like this," he said. "It's like Kansas City, I'd rather be going against Boston or the Yankees. When you face this team, you're supposed to win and they're supposed to lose. That can be very hard and difficult because they have a good group of young players."

Brandon McCarthy pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Bobby Jenks finished up for his 23rd save in 24 chances. He has converted his last 14 save opportunities.

Chicago's Jermaine Dye, 2-for-18 coming into the game, went 3-for-5 with two doubles during a 15-hit White Sox night. Thome drove in two runs, adding a two-out RBI single in the ninth off John Grabow.

Notes

  • The Pirates have gone eight consecutive games without a starting pitcher lasting six innings.
  • White Sox OF Brian Anderson's five-game suspension for his role in a benches-clearing incident against the Cubs ended, but he didn't play.
  • The Pirates are 7-18 in June and haven't won since beating the Cardinals 9-7 on June 14.
 
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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Mark Buehrle wins his third game in a row after throwing seven innings and only allowing two runs.  (AP)
Mark Buehrle wins his third game in a row after throwing seven innings and only allowing two runs. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

M. Buehrle
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 2
BB 1
K 4
Chicago

J. Thome
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Chicago White Sox
Scott Podsednik, LF3121002 .261
Tadahito Iguchi, 2B5130002 .297
Jim Thome, 1B4022102 .284
    Bobby Jenks, P0000000 .000
Jermaine Dye, RF5030003 .303
A.J. Pierzynski, C5011005 .318
Joe Crede, 3B4000012 .302
Rob Mackowiak, CF4020002 .280
Juan Uribe, SS4120000 .231
Mark Buehrle, P2000012 .000
    Brandon McCarthy, P0000000 .000
   a- Alex Cintron, PH0100100 .276
    Ross Gload, 1B0000000 .264
Totals3641542220 
a-walked for McCarthy in the 9th
Batting
2B - Scott Podsednik (15, Snell), Jermaine Dye 2 (10, Snell, Grabow), Juan Uribe (11, Snell)
SF - Scott Podsednik (3)
SH - Scott Podsednik (6), Mark Buehrle (1)
RBI - Scott Podsednik (30), Jim Thome 2 (63), A.J. Pierzynski (23)
2-OUT RBI - Jim Thome (16)
SB - Scott Podsednik (24, 2nd base off Snell/Paulino)
CS - Scott Podsednik (9, 3rd base by Snell/Paulino)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Crede-Iguchi-Thome
Chicago White Sox
Mark Buehrle (W,9-4) 7722141 3.22
Brandon McCarthy (H,8) 1000000 4.35
Bobby Jenks (S,23) 1000010 2.55
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Buehrle 104-66, Brandon McCarthy 9-7, Bobby Jenks 11-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Buehrle 6-10, Brandon McCarthy 2-1, Bobby Jenks 2-0
Batters Faced - Mark Buehrle 28, Brandon McCarthy 3, Bobby Jenks 3
Pittsburgh Pirates
Jack Wilson, SS4000023 .271
Jose Bautista, CF4010000 .220
Sean Casey, 1B4010001 .290
Jason Bay, LF4000012 .286
Freddy Sanchez, 3B4010001 .349
Craig Wilson, RF4221011 .276
Jose Castillo, 2B4010000 .273
Ronny Paulino, C2000100 .299
Ian Snell, P1000010 .048
   a- Joe Randa, PH0001000 .245
    Matt Capps, P0000000 .000
   b- Jose Hernandez, PH1010000 .190
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .000
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
Totals32272158 
a-hit a sacrifice fly for Snell in the 5th
b-singled for Capps in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jose Bautista (9, Buehrle), Jose Castillo (14, Buehrle)
HR - Craig Wilson (12, Buehrle)
SF - Joe Randa (2)
RBI - Craig Wilson (36), Joe Randa (10)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Craig Wilson 1
DP - Castillo-J. Wilson
E - Matt Capps (1, Missed catch)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Ian Snell (L,7-5) 51033110 4.87
Matt Capps 2300010 3.83
Salomon Torres 1.2011100 4.80
John Grabow 0.1200000 4.85
Pitches-Strikes - Ian Snell 96-63, Matt Capps 26-19, Salomon Torres 22-15, John Grabow 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ian Snell 3-8, Matt Capps 1-4, Salomon Torres 4-1
Batters Faced - Ian Snell 23, Matt Capps 9, Salomon Torres 6, John Grabow 3
Game Information
Attendance - 24976
Game Time - 2:29
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Jim Wolf, First Base - Joe West, Second Base - Ed Rapuano, Third Base - Tony Randazzo