ChiSox's Buehrle flirts with perfection in loss

BY foxsports • July 29, 2009

Still stewing after being beaten by a couple of bloop hits in the seventh inning of a start that began oh so perfectly, White Sox ace Mark Buehrle sounded nothing like a pitcher that had just delivered a record-setting performance.

"It's just frustrating after a loss," Buehrle said following Chicago's 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night. "It might mean more tomorrow or the next day once I cool off. But I'm not too happy right now."

Coming off the 18th perfect game in major league history, Buehrle retired the first 17 batters to set a record with 45 outs in a row before the Twins rallied for the win.

Buehrle (11-4) lost what would have been his second straight perfect game and his no-hitter with two outs in the sixth. He wound up allowing five runs on five hits in 6 1-3 innings.

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He'll have to take the record as a consolation prize. He surpassed the mark of 41 straight set by San Francisco's Jim Barr in 1972 and tied by teammate Bobby Jenks, a reliever, in 2007.

"Especially being able to break that here on the turf," Jenks said. "That team is known for being able to hit the ball on the ground and run. It's pretty impressive."

Nick Punto had a soft two-run single and Brendan Harris added an RBI-single in Minnesota's four-run seventh inning to move the Twins (51-50) into a tie with the White Sox for second place in the AL Central.

"I'm not a big fan of broken-bat, bloop singles," Buehrle said. "It just seems like any time at this place you just know it's going to happen. You could be up 10-0 in the ninth inning and something's going to happen in that inning."

That inning was the seventh for Buehrle on Tuesday.

He breezed through the first 5 2-3 innings as he chased history. No pitcher has ever thrown two perfect games in a row, but the crafty lefty was on track to do just that when he walked Alexi Casilla on a close call with two outs in the sixth.

"He relies on location and movement," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "To see him not give up a hit ... his whole thing is pitching to contact. And you're going to get bloops. So, to think about it, it's really amazing that no one blooped one for 45 hitters."

The bloops started coming at hitter No. 47.

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