Mark Buehrle broke a major league record by extending his streak of batters faced without allowing a base runner to 44 following a perfect game in his last outing. But the Twins rallied to beat him anyway 5-3.
Buehrle seemed to struggle from the stretch after pitching from the wind-up in he previous 17.2 consecutive perfect innings. Alexi Casilla walked with two out in the sixth to break up the perfect game. Denard Span followed with a clean single to center to break up the no hitter. And Joe Mauer hit a slicing liner to left that Scot Podsednik played into a ground-rule double to break up the shutout.
The Twins capitalized on more White Sox defensive follies in the seventh. Buehrle hit Michael Cuddyer to lead off the inning. With Cuddyer running on a 2-1 pitch, Joe Crede hit a double play grounder to the second baseman. Unfortunately for Sox fans, second baseman Chris Getz broke to cover the bag and couldn't recover to field the weak grounder, giving the Twins a gift hit-and-run single. Brendan Harris then followed with a liner to left to score Cuddyer. Carlos Gomez bunted the runners over and Nick Punto lined a hit to right to score two more runs, which was all the runs the Twins would need on this night.
Scott Baker matched Buehrle pitch for pitch through six innings. Baker left after throwing 115 pitches through the first six, despite allowing just one run on four hits. Three relievers combined to hold the White Sox down to two more runs and secure the win. Jose Mijares was particularly impressive for an inning and two thirds to get the win. Bobby Keppel wobbled in the ninth, forcing Joe Nathan to get a one-out save--his 28th.
The Twins pulled into a virtual tie with the White Sox for second place in the Central Division, two games behind the division-leading Tigers, who lost in Texas. After limping home from a ragged West Coast road trip, the Twins have rediscovered Dome ball just in time to prove that they are a contending team. Will it be enough to motivate the front office to make a move? We can an only hope.
Nick Punto: His two-RBI single knocked Buehrle out of the game. He's got to do something about those lob throws to first though. I wonder if his arm is hurting.
Mark Buehrle: Gotta give it up for a major league record.
Jose Mijares: He was efficient in getting five outs while allowing just one base runner.
Scott Podsednik: Your lead off guy can't have this many 0-fers. And we can all thank him for loping after that drive off the bat of Mauer that ended in a ground-rule double to tie the game with two outs.
Paul Konerko: 0-4.
Octavio Dotel: Three walks in one inning to allow an insurance run and force another pitching change.