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Chi. White Sox (28-33) «100000100290
Chi. Cubs (27-35)0000000011100

Buehrle goes seven strong, helps White Sox hand Cubs' Silva first loss

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- The plan called for Mark Buehrle and the rest of the Chicago White Sox's rotation to dominate.

Who thought it would take this long to come to fruition?

Buehrle pitched scoreless ball into the seventh, Paul Konerko drove in two runs and the White Sox handed Carlos Silva his first loss, beating the struggling Cubs 2-1 Saturday for their season-high fourth straight win.

Konerko delivered a run-scoring single in the first and another in the seventh after Juan Pierre stole second, avoiding the tag with a neat dive. Konerko is 20 for 42 in his last 12 games.

The Cubs got a run-scoring single from Ryan Theriot off Bobby Jenks with two outs in the ninth, but Jenks struck out Chad Tracy for his 11th save in 12 chances.

Buehrle (4-6), meanwhile, looked like his old self while sending the crosstown Cubs to their ninth loss in 12 games.

The solid outing by Buehrle capped a string of strong performances by a rotation that is finally starting to live up to the hype. White Sox starters have a 1.60 ERA over the past five games -- a big improvement for a group that started the week with an American League-worst 5.28 ERA.

"That's how we were supposed to be pitching," Buehrle said. "That's what we expected coming out of spring training."

The veteran left-hander allowed eight hits and struck out seven without a walk against an all right-handed lineup after going 1-6 with a 6.22 ERA in his previous 10 starts. He left to cheers from the White Sox fans after allowing back-to-back singles by Tyler Colvin and Theriot with two outs in the seventh.

Sergio Santos came in and struck out pinch-hitter Tracy with a 97-mph fastball on the outside corner.

J.J. Putz pitched a scoreless eighth.

Jenks issued a leadoff walk in the ninth to Geovany Soto, who went to second on Kosuke Fukudome's chopper to the mound for the second out and came around on Theriot's single to right, but the White Sox hung on.

"We're getting the good pitching and timely hitting," Pierre said. "We dug ourselves such a hole that it's going to take one of these runs to get back in this thing. This is a big stretch for us."

Marlon Byrd had three hits for the Cubs, who fell eight games below .500 for the first time since they were 24-32 on June 5, 2007. They went on to win the first of two straight NL Central titles that year.

"It's very disappointing," Alfonso Soriano said. "We're not supposed to lose like we lost today."

Silva (8-1) allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings while falling short in his bid to become the first Cubs starter to open a season 9-0 since Ken Holtzman in 1967. He set career highs with 123 pitches and two hit batters, and although he wasn't at his sharpest, he delivered another solid outing.

He allowed consecutive singles by Alexei Ramirez, Alex Rios and Konerko as the White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the first and left the bases loaded after hitting A.J. Pierzynski.

Pierre set up the White Sox's second run with a leadoff walk in the seventh and a spectacular dive to steal second on a pitchout.

The throw from Soto beat him by about six feet, but Pierre lifted his left arm and contorted his body to avoid shortstop Starlin Castro's tag before getting his hand on the bag.

With two outs, the Cubs decided to go after the surging Konerko rather than walk him to face Carlos Quentin, and he drove in Pierre with a single to right to make it 2-0.

As for the tag, Castro thought Pierre was out, but manager Lou Piniella said he won't get that call.

"He has a tendency to want to reach out instead of putting the ball or the glove on the bag where he can tag the runner," Piniella said. "He wants to reach. And the umpires, when they see you reach and then they see you reach again, they're not going to give you the call."

Notes
  • The Cubs will honor the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks in a pregame ceremony on Sunday, with several players throwing out a ceremonial first pitch and leading the crowd in Take Me Out to the Ball Game during the seventh-inning stretch. Jim Cornelison will also sing the national anthem, as he does at Blackhawks games. Blackhawks president John McDonough was a longtime Cubs executive.
  • White Sox infielder Omar Vizquel , who's tending to a family matter in Venezuela, might be back in time for Sunday's game.
 
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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Paul Konerko drives in both runs for the White Sox, one in the first inning and the other in the seventh. (AP)
Paul Konerko drives in both runs for the White Sox, one in the first inning and the other in the seventh. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

P. Konerko
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
Chicago

R. Theriot
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Chicago White Sox
Juan Pierre, LF4100111 .245
Alexei Ramirez, SS5110021 .262
Alex Rios, CF4010011 .321
Paul Konerko, 1B4032001 .296
Carlos Quentin, RF5000025 .205
    Bobby Jenks, P0000000 .000
A.J. Pierzynski, C3010000 .238
Gordon Beckham, 2B3010003 .206
Jayson Nix, 3B3020110 .167
Mark Buehrle, P3000013 .000
    Sergio Santos, P0000000 .000
   a- Mark Kotsay, PH0000100 .202
    J.J. Putz, P0000000 .000
    Andruw Jones, RF0000000 .215
Totals3429238  
a-walked for Santos in the 8th
Batting
2B - Gordon Beckham (7, Silva)
SH - Gordon Beckham (4)
RBI - Paul Konerko 2 (46)
2-OUT RBI - Paul Konerko (19)
SB - Juan Pierre (25, 2nd base off Silva/Soto)
Team LOB - 12
Chicago White Sox
Mark Buehrle (W,4-6) 6.2800070 4.93
Sergio Santos (H,7) 0.1000010 1.69
J.J. Putz (H,3) 1100010 2.49
Bobby Jenks (S,11) 1111120 4.94
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Buehrle 108-71, Sergio Santos 6-5, J.J. Putz 13-8, Bobby Jenks 22-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Buehrle 6-7, J.J. Putz 1-1, Bobby Jenks 1-0
Batters Faced - Mark Buehrle 28, Sergio Santos 1, J.J. Putz 4, Bobby Jenks 5
Chicago Cubs
Ryan Theriot, 2B5031000 .294
Jeff Baker, 3B3010000 .247
   a- Chad Tracy, PH-3B2000023 .250
Derrek Lee, 1B4000022 .230
Marlon Byrd, CF4030012 .336
Xavier Nady, RF4010024 .250
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
Alfonso Soriano, LF4000024 .274
Geovany Soto, C3110112 .266
Starlin Castro, SS3000003 .264
   b- Mike Fontenot, PH1000011 .295
Carlos Silva, P2000001 .091
   c- Tyler Colvin, PH1010000 .305
    Andrew Cashner, P0000000 .000
    Kosuke Fukudome, RF1000000 .276
Totals371101111  
a-struck out for Baker in the 7th
b-struck out for Castro in the 9th
c-singled for Silva in the 7th
Batting
2B - Marlon Byrd (22, Putz)
RBI - Ryan Theriot (16)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Theriot (10)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Cashner-Soto-Lee
Chicago Cubs
Carlos Silva (L,8-1) 7722260 2.89
Andrew Cashner 1200100 0.00
Carlos Marmol 1000020 1.93
IBB - Nix by Carlos Silva
HBP - Pierzynski (by Carlos Silva), Rios (by Carlos Silva), Konerko (by Carlos Marmol)
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Silva 121-79, Andrew Cashner 17-9, Carlos Marmol 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Silva 10-5, Andrew Cashner 2-0
Batters Faced - Carlos Silva 32, Andrew Cashner 5, Carlos Marmol 4
Game Information
Attendance - 40397
Game Time - 2:54
Temperature - 63
Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Dana DeMuth, Second Base - Kerwin Danley, Third Base - C.B. Bucknor