CHICAGO (AP) -- Carlos Lee lined a shot to left, pulled up at
second base and took a moment to enjoy the scene.
Lee got a loud ovation after his first-inning double pushed his
career-high hitting streak to 27 games, longest in the majors this
season. He finished 3-for-5 and scored a run, helping the Chicago
White Sox beat the Atlanta Braves 10-3 Sunday.
After matching the franchise record set by Albert Belle in 1997
and Luke Appling in 1936, Lee took off his helmet and gave a brief
wave to the cheering crowd.
"To do it at home in front of the home fans, that was really
great," Lee said. "Any time they give you a standing ovation,
it's a great feeling."
The hard-hitting White Sox were certainly feeling good after
taking two of three from the Braves. Chicago has scored 10 or more
runs in four of the last five games and homered in a season-high 15
straight home games.
"We're swinging the bats real well," White Sox manager Ozzie
Guillen said. "The way we're swinging the bats right now anything
can happen any inning."
Mark Buehrle (7-1) pitched eight solid innings and won his sixth
straight decision. The left-hander faced the minimum through three
innings and gave up three runs on eight hits, striking out four and
Atlanta got a run off Buehrle in the fourth when Nick Green
tripled off the wall in center. Willie Harris had a play on the
ball but mistimed his jump, allowing Green to go to third. He
scored on an RBI grounder by J.D. Drew.
Rafael Furcal hit a two-run homer in the sixth for the Braves.
Buehrle bounced back from one of his poorest outings of the
season, when he gave up six runs in seven innings in a victory
against the Philadelphia Phillies.
"The first couple of innings I felt like I had everything
going. It felt like I could throw the ball by guys," Buehrle said.
"I don't know if it was sitting there in between innings when we
were scoring all those runs, but I just came out and felt like I
didn't have anything."
It was still enough to beat the Braves.
Atlanta has lost six of 10 and fallen two games below .500 for
the first time this late in the season since 1990.
Making matters worse, left-hander Mike Hampton was a late
scratch because of a bruised left biceps. Hampton took a line drive
off his arm last Tuesday against Detroit.
Travis Smith (0-3) started in his place, lasting just four
innings and giving up five runs on seven hits and two walks.
"It's not over yet. There's a long way to go. Myself, I still
believe in this team. We've got guys hurt right now," Eddie Perez
said. "We have a lot of games to play."
Braves manager Bobby Cox was ejected by umpire Greg Gibson in
the bottom of the fifth for arguing balls and strikes. Guillen was
tossed Saturday for the same reason.
Thomas hit his 16th homer in the first off Smith, a 414-foot
shot that was his third solo home run in the last two games. Thomas
has 433 home runs, tying Juan Gonzalez for 30th on the career list.
Buehrle has gone at least six innings in 12 of 14 starts this
season. He's gotten lots of support, too. The White Sox had scored
9.29 runs a game for him entering Sunday -- best in the majors.
"I am not going to complain. It makes my job easier," Buehrle
The White Sox have scored at least 10 runs 12 times this
season, most in the majors. ... Since 2001, Thomas has hit 68 of
his 90 home runs at home. ... White Sox catcher Jamie Burke was
3-for-4 with three RBI. He got his first career extra-base hit in
the seventh. ... It was Cox's third ejection of the season.