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Predicatble Result

June 27, at Pittsburgh

How was the trophy defended today?
Sox single and sacrifice Pirates to death and rely on solid outing from Mark Buehrle.  Recipe for a win!

Short Take:  Mark Buehrle and Sox make early 3-0 lead stand as World Champs send Pittsburgh to 12th consecutive loss.

On Tuesday night, the White Sox took their 49 wins on the road to Western Pennsylvania and the 26-51 Pittsburgh Pirates.  On the mound for the two teams were Sox ace Mark Buehrle and his 93 career wins against Ian Snell and his 8.  You can't blame if the 24,000 or so fans in attendance at PNC Park if they had a suspicion about how Tuesday's series' opener would play out.  Predictably, the White Sox put on a grinder-ball show and edged the Pirates for a 4-2 win, their 50th of the season.

If old baseball idioms really are true, then the Sox offense did their part to calm down any jitters their starter might have had early.  In the first inning, Scott Podsednik and Tadahito Iguchi lead off the game with back-to-back doubles.  Jim Thome took no time in padding his stats, singling home his 62nd RBI of the year and putting the Sox up 1-0.  After an out, A.J. Pierzynski singled to center to score Iguchi and the Sox were up 2-0 before Buehrle ever took the mound.

When he was on the mound, Buehrle was his old, usual self.  Working quickly, throwing strikes, and using his defense.  Through the first four innings, he faced one over the minimum, allowing a pair of hits and retired 9 in a row between the 2nd and 5th innings.  The Sox, meanwhile, padded to his lead in the 2nd.  Juan Uribe lead off the inning with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice by Rob Mackowiak, and scored on a single by Scott Podsednik.  Give Snell credit, though, he settled down nicely after that and really kept Pittsburgh in the game.  But he was no match for his counterpart.  The Pirates wouldn't get to Buehrle until the 5th.  With one out and the bases loaded, Joe Randa hit a deep fly ball to left field that Scott Podsednik was able to corrall at the wall, but allowed Craig Wilson to score easily.  Buehrle, however, hunkered down and induced a harmless pop fly from Jack Wilson, and was aided by hid defense, as Tadahito Iguchi made a fine, sliding grab in short right field foul ground to end the threat.

The Pirates bullpen, meanwhile shut down the Sox offense.  Relievers Matt Capps, Saloman Torres, and John Grabow combined to toss 4 innings of solid relief, continuing the trend started by Snell in the 2nd.  The most important thing they did was keep the game close.  Even though the threesome allowed six baserunners in their four innings of work, they kept the Sox off the scoreboard until the very end.  Meanwhile, the Pirates had drawn to within a run on a solo home run by Craig Wilson to start the 7th.  The World Champs, however, added a security run in the 9th.  After Alex Cinton singled to lead off the inning, he moved to second and third on a sacrifice and ground out by Scott Podsednik and Tadahito Iguchi respectively.  Jim Thome added his 2nd RBI of the game, blooping a single into left field to score an important run.  Bobby Jenks came in pitched a perfect ninth for his 23rd save of the season.

All in all, Buehrle was again brilliant, tossing 7 innings, allowing only a pair of runs and 7 hits, while striking out 4.  The Sox and Pirates go at it again tomorrow night in Pittsburgh.  Freddy Garcia gets the start for the Sox and looks to be the first South Sider to notch 10 wins on the '06 season.  He will face Paul Malholm, a youngster for the Pirates who brings a 5-7 career record into tomorrow's game.  The game will be aired in Chicago on WGN and will start at 6:05 PM Central time.  Now, I'm not one to predict games, but that auspicious feeling that clouded over PNC last night?  It should make a curtain call tomorrow.

Ozzieball Update: 
Sox only notch 3 extra base hits all night, but manage to gets runs across the plate when needed and rely on pitching to make early lead stand.

submitted by doublem23.

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Jim Thome

RBIs number 62 and 63 account for 1/2 of Sox offens    e and match offensive output of entire Pirates' lineup.

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Totally Biased Game Recaps

September 29... The Last (And Lost) Weekend

September 24... Covey Captivates, but Kluber Cruises

September 22... At Least They Won't Clinch Here

September 18...Klubered, but Not Clobbered

September 16... Baltimore Blanked

September 10... Thrown Away

September 8... Anaheim Annihilation

September 3... Power Special

September 1... 18 Strikeouts Later, the White Sox Lose

August 30...Leaky Bullpen Bombed by Boston

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