Streaking White Sox keep Santana winless

CHICAGO (AP) -- Mark Buehrle knew he needed to be at his best
facing Johan Santana, even if Minnesota's ace had struggled early
this season.

"You see him coming in with an 0-2 (record) and a 5 (ERA) and
you wonder, `How? How's that possible?" Buehrle said Friday night
after he outpitched Santana to help the Chicago White Sox beat the
Twins 7-1.

"That guy to me is the best pitcher in baseball," Buerhle
added. "For us to go out and get a couple of runs like we did. ...
Last year he was dominating. Any time you get two runs like that,
it's huge."

The game was scoreless until the sixth when Jim Thome hit a
two-run homer off Santana, who is still winless in four starts this

"The last thing you think about against that guy is hitting a
home run," Thome said. "That guy can pitch."

So can Buerhle.

Buehrle (3-0) allowed four hits over eight innings to get his
third straight victory as the defending World Series champions won
their sixth straight and their 10th in the last 11 games. He lost
his shutout when Lew Ford hit a two-out homer in the eighth.

Thome's homer was his eighth of the season and came on a 3-1
pitch after he'd struck out in his first two at-bats against

"I don't think it was one pitch, it was one swing. I threw a
good pitch and Thome's a great hitter," Santana said.

"He's very strong. He just made contact and just like that the
ball was gone. It was a good piece of hitting."

The White Sox were finally able to beat Santana (0-3) for the
first time in nearly two years.

Santana dominated the White Sox in 2005, going 4-0 in five
starts with a 0.92 ERA. He was 6-0 against Chicago in his previous
seven starts and had not lost to the White Sox since July 1, 2004.

And he was tough again Friday night, changing speeds and
overpowering Chicago hitters at times before Thome connected.

"Going against a guy like Santana, you know you can't give up
too many runs or you don't have a chance," Buerhle said. "You try
to match him, throw zeros like he is."

Santana threw 120 pitches in seven innings, allowing five hits
with three walks and six strikeouts.

"Buehrle did a great job," Santana said. "I felt good. I felt
like the all was coming out pretty good. My pitches were there."

The White Sox scored five in the bottom of the eighth, thanks to
a wild relay throw from Twins shortstop Juan Castro. Thome and Paul
Konerko singled off Juan Rincon, and Jermaine Dye's double to
left-center scored pinch-runner Pablo Ozuna. Konerko was held at
third, but Castro's throw landed in Chicago's dugout, allowing both
Konerko and Dye to score and make it 5-1.

"I saw Konerko a little bit off the bag. I wanted to surprise
him a little bit, but when I went to throw it I didn't get a good
grip," Castro said. "The ball slipped out of my hand and it just

Brian Anderson added a sacrifice fly and Scott Podsednik an RBI
double off Matt Guerrier.

Dye's single and Anderson's broken-bat blooper were the White
Sox's only two hits through five innings.

Buehrle, whose 16-9 career record against the Twins represents
his most wins against any opponent, retired the first 10 batters
before Nick Punto singled to right in the fourth. Tony Batista
singled in the fifth for Minnesota's second hit.

Ruben Sierra's infield single and a walk to Batista gave the
Twins a threat in the seventh, but Buehrle got Rondell White on a
fly ball to end the inning.

Game notes
Thome has scored a run in all 16 of the White Sox's games.
That's the longest streak ever to start out a season, according to
the Elias Sports Bureau. ... Thome is now 2-for-12 in his career
against Santana and both hits have been homers. ... Rondell White
was out of the DH role and in left field. Shannon Stewart had left
the game to be with his wife for the birth of their daughter
Thursday. Second baseman Luis Castillo didn't play either because
of a sore right knee that forced him to leave Thursday's game
early. ... The first 4 1-2 innings took only 62 minutes to play.
... Attendance was announced at 31,287. There were also 325 dogs in
attendance for the White Sox's 11th annual Dog Day.