White Sox get offense from unexpected source

CHICAGO (AP) -- Mark Buehrle's bat gave the Chicago White Sox an unexpected lift. Then it was strong throws from Jose Valentin and Josh Paul that helped him beat the Cubs.

Buehrle pitched into the seventh inning and got his first major
league RBI Saturday as the White Sox jumped to a big early lead for
the second straight game and held on for a 7-6 win.

"It's always a plus when the pitchers hit,'' said Buehrle, who
entered the game just 1-for-11 in his career. "I don't know what
I'm doing up there, really.''

After falling behind 7-0, the Cubs scored twice to get within
two in the seventh but could have had more. A great relay throw
from shortstop Valentin cut down Damian Miller at the plate for the
first out of the inning and kept the Cubs from having an even
bigger rally.

"I was surprised, too,'' Valentin said. "They were down 7-3
and trying to get the guy home with no outs and I just turned
around and I got a call `Go home.' I made a throw and got him. When
he made the turn home, he was pretty much running out of gas.''

Was it a mistake by Cubs third base coach Wendell Kim to wave
Miller around?

"I don't know if it was a mistake or not. We've been trying to
play aggressive baseball. I call it aggressive baseball and it
didn't work,'' Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.

That same aggressive approach cost the Cubs again in the ninth
against Billy Koch, who got his 10th save in 12 chances. He allowed
an RBI single to Sammy Sosa, but pinch-runner Tom Goodwin was
thrown out trying to steal second and Eric Karros flied out to end

"It's definitely a gamble worth taking. It just wasn't worth
taking today, I guess,'' said Goodwin, thrown out when Koch pitched
out to catcher Paul, who made a perfect peg to second.

The pitchout was called by bench coach Joe Nossek.

"He sniffed something was happening,'' Paul said. "Goodwin's
very fast and Joe picked the right time to pitch out and it

Joe Crede had two doubles and a single in his first three
at-bats as the White Sox chased Cubs starter Matt Clement after 3 1/3 innings, ending his three-game winning streak.

On Friday, the White Sox knocked Cubs starter Shawn Estes out
after one inning while taking a 6-0 lead en route to a 12-3

A day later they went ahead 7-0, and it was Buehrle who got them

Buehrle doesn't bat often, except in interleague play at NL

But after working the count to 2-2 against Clement, he sent a
two-out, run-scoring single up the middle for his first RBI to give
the White Sox a 1-0 lead in the second. Willie Harris followed with
a broken-bat single to make it a two-run lead.

"It shows you can't take any part of the lineup for granted,''
Clement said.

"From there on, it seemed like they got into a pretty good
rhythm and kept me out of a rhythm.''

With a near-capacity crowd of 38,939 at Wrigley Field, the White
Sox put together another big inning in the fourth against the Cubs,
who entered the day in first place in the NL Central.

Magglio Ordonez and Brian Daubach doubled, Valentin walked and
Crede delivered another run-scoring double. Paul singled in a run
and, after a fielder's choice on Buehrle's bunt, Harris hit another
RBI single.

When Crede got his third straight hit, a bases-loaded single in
the fourth, it finished Clement and gave the White Sox a 7-0 lead.

Buehrle (4-10), who won 35 games the past two seasons, allowed
nine hits and four runs in 6 1/3 innings. He has two straight wins
after a nine-game losing streak.

Moises Alou hit a two-run homer after Sosa's single, and Miller
doubled in Karros as the Cubs got three back in the fourth.

Miller singled in the seventh but was out easily at the plate on
Valentin's perfect relay throw to Paul after a double by Martinez.

It turned out to be a pivotal play. Tom Gordon, a former Cub,
relieved and gave up an RBI double to Mark Grudzielanek and a
run-scoring single to Corey Patterson that made it 7-5.

But Sosa flied out and Alou popped out to end the threat.

Clement (5-7) struck out the side in the first, but gave up 11
hits and seven runs.

Game notes
Karros was 4-for-5. ... Exactly 14 years ago on June 21,
Sosa hit his first major league homer as a member of the Texas
Rangers, connecting off Roger Clemens. ... Sosa hasn't homered at
Wrigley Field since April 17. ... Daubach's third-inning double
extended his hitting streak to 10 games, tying a career high.