CHICAGO — It would be fitting if the Chicago White Sox and Oakland Athletics played a two-hour game Saturday afternoon on “Mark Buehrle Day” at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Buehrle, who was known for pitching quickly in games, will have his number 56 retired.
“It doesn’t really make sense, to be honest with you,” Buehrle said of the honor at a press conference Friday. “I’m trying to wrap my head around it. Like I said, I watched Frank Thomas as a kid growing up and even when I came here and played with him, I couldn’t believe it. I’m like a fan of Frank Thomas, who’s right there. It just doesn’t make sense that I’m up there with those guys.
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“Again, I went out there and tried to do what I could do every day and had fun with it and obviously had a good, long successful career. And now here we are getting my number retired. I can’t really explain it. It’s pretty hard.”
Buehrle, who retired following the 2015 season, was 161-119 with the White Sox and threw a perfect game and a no-hitter. He was a five-time All Star and won four Gold Gloves.
“Tomorrow’s honor, I’m sure he’ll greatly appreciate it,” said White Sox manager Rick Renteria. “He’s so humble. He’ll probably make light of it. It’s nice to have somebody come back like that and for all of us to be a part of it, to see something like it.”
The White Sox (32-40) will look to bounce back after losing their fourth game in five outings, falling 3-0 on Friday night to the A’s (32-42). Khris Davis’ two-run home run in the first inning and Jharel Cotton’s five shutout innings paced the A’s, who snapped a four-game losing streak. Matt Joyce added a solo home run.
White Sox third baseman Matt Davidson almost provided heroics for the White Sox in the ninth with two men on, but his shot to center field wasn’t deep enough, as Jaycob Brugman hauled it in to give the A’s their second shutout victory of the season.
Right-handed White Sox veteran James Shields (1-0, 2.42 ERA) will make his second start since returning from a two-month stint on the disabled list. He allowed three earned runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings in Toronto on Sunday in a no-decision.
In 16 career starts against the A’s, Shields is 6-5 with a 4.15 ERA. Last Aug. 19, the A’s roughed Shields up for six earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. Davis and Yonder Alonso went deep off Shields in a 9-0 A’s win. Shields is 49-39 with a 3.65 ERA in his career in day games.
Rookie Daniel Gossett (0-2, 7.20 ERA) will make his third career start for the A’s. The right-hander allowed only two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings in a 4-1 loss to the Astros on Monday. He struck out six and walked none on 100 pitches.