• Summary: Mark Buehrle gave the struggling White Sox a lift, winning his 100th career game as Chicago snapped a five-game losing streak by beating the Astros.
• Hero: Buehrle pitched eight strong innings and won his 100th game after failing to achieve the milestone in his previous seven attempts.
• Making it interesting: The shaky White Sox bullpen was at it again, almost squandering Buehrle's gem. Bobby Jenks got out of a bases-loaded jam created by teammates Dewon Day and Boone Logan.
• Figure this: Paul Konerko drove in two runs and moved into sole possession of fifth place on the White Sox's all-time RBI list with 806, two more than Eddie Collins.
• Quotable: "Hopefully, for 101, we don't have to wait two months." -- Ozzie Guillen on Buehrle's 100th victory.
-- ESPN.com news services
White Sox 6, Astros 3
CHICAGO (AP) -- The champagne was chilled, but Mark Buehrle
sounded like a man who was simply relieved -- not poised to pop open
a bottle. Buehrle pitched eight strong innings for his 100th career
victory and the Chicago White Sox beat the Houston Astros 6-3 to
snap a five-game losing streak on Sunday. Now, he has a minor
milestone this season to go with the no-hitter he pitched in April. "I'd rather have those things not happen to me, and we be in
first place or close to leading the division," Buehrle said. "But
on a personal level, it feels pretty good." Paul Konerko had three hits -- including a solo homer -- and drove
in two runs as Chicago won for just the third time in 15 games.
Luis Terrero and Juan Uribe added solo shots during a three-run
fifth. Buehrle (3-3) did his part after failing in his first seven
attempts at win No. 100. "Hopefully, for 101, we don't have to wait two months,"
manager Ozzie Guillen said. Buehrle allowed six hits and a run while striking out four and
walking one. He threw a no-hitter against Texas on April 18 and
beat Kansas City five days later, but he went 0-3 and saw his ERA
jump from 2.59 to 3.99 over the next seven starts. On Sunday, he looked like his old self. Houston's Wandy Rodriguez struggled again, though. The left-handed Rodriguez (3-6) allowed seven hits and five runs
-- four earned -- in five innings. It was his third loss in four
starts. "We're in a rotten position right now," manager Phil Garner
said. "We need to win [in] streaks. If we win two out of three for
the rest of the year we'll be in good shape, but we got to put
together a good streak. We just can't have momentum like the last
couple of days just drift away and have a nothing ballgame like we
did today." The struggling White Sox bullpen almost gave away a five-run
lead in the ninth. Dewon Day walked two batters with one out and
Boone Logan walked another to load the bases, before closer Bobby Jenks came in. Jenks, who took the loss Saturday, allowed a run to
score on a wild pitch and another on a groundout before striking
out Luke Scott for his 17th save in 18 chances. It was another shaky outing for a bullpen that has a 9.09 ERA
and five blown saves in its last 29 games. Konerko continued to emerge from his season-long slump, going
3-for-4. He has 11 hits in his last 23 at-bats. Konerko doubled and
scored on Terrero's single in the second, and hit his ninth homer
with one out in the fourth to make it 2-0. Terrero led off the fifth with his fourth homer and Uribe added
his sixth one out later. Konerko drove in Andy Gonzalez with the
inning's third run to make it 5-0. That was enough for Buehrle, whose lone mistake was a solo homer
by Mike Lamb in the seventh. The reeling White Sox (27-32) needed this. They had not fallen seven games below .500 since June 12, 2003,
and were trying to avoid their first six-game losing streak since
August 2005. Of course, they went on that year to sweep Houston for
their first championship since 1917, but that World Series seems
more and more like a distant memory -- for both teams -- as the
losses mount. The Astros committed three errors, were sloppy on the bases, and
they couldn't afford it with Buehrle pitching like this. "He was corners all day with me," Houston's Morgan Ensberg
said. "He got ahead and at that point, I was battling. I don't
feel like I got a really great pitch to hit today." In other words: Buehrle was, well, Buehrle. "You always feel like you have the advantage when he pitches --
at least 60-40 or better," Konerko said.
White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski dropped his appeal and
served a one-game suspension Sunday for his conduct during a game
against the New York Yankees last week. Pierzynski pounded the
plate with his bat in disgust after striking out in the eighth
inning Thursday and said something to home plate umpire Bob
Davidson, who ejected him. Pierzynski then flipped his helmet back
at the plate. ... Konerko drove in two runs and moved into sole
possession of fifth place on the club's all-time RBI list with 806
RBIs, two more than Eddie Collins. ... Tadahito Iguchi singled in
the seventh to extend his hitting streak to 12, tying a
career-high. ... The Astros called up left-handed pitcher Mark
McLemore from Triple-A Round Rock and outrighted catcher Humberto
Quintero to the minor league club before Sunday's game. ... The
Astros kept OF Hunter Pence, who had to leave Friday night's game
with a sore hip flexor, out of the starting lineup for the second
straight day. He hopes to return Monday, when Houston plays a
makeup game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.