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White Sox Thu Jul 23 2009

Buehrle Is The Mark Of Perfection:Sox Take 3 Out Of 4 From Rays

When you look up the word perfection in the dictionary you'll probably find White Sox's Ace Mark Buehrle's name under the definition. Buehrle was masterful as he became just the 18th player in major league history to throw a perfect game. The Sox defeated the defending American League Champion Rays 5-0.

Powered by a Josh Fields grand slam in the fourth inning that would be all Buehrle needed to complete his masterpiece. With his gem he becomes the second pitcher in Sox's history to pitch a perfect game. Charles Robertson was the first to pitch a perfect game on April 30, 1922 for the Southsiders. Buehrle's effort was almost all for nothing if not for a game-saving catch by defensive replacement DeWayne Wise.

Wise took away an almost certain home run off the bat of Tampa Bay's Gabe Kapler. It would've ended the no-hitter, shut-out and the perfect game, but thankfully for Buehrle, Wise held onto the ball and preserved Buehrle's bid for perfection. Buehrle got a phone call from President Barack Obama after the game as well.

Interestingly enough, when Buehrle pitched his no-hitter during the '07 season, the Sox offense hit a grand slam in that game as well. Even more interesting Eric Cooper was the home plate umpire in that game, too. Not only did the Sox win today, but the Detroit Tigers lost, moving the Southsiders into a tie for first place.

They passed the first of several big tests by taking three out of four from the Rays. Now they move onto Detroit for a four game series, including a day/night doubleheader on Friday. If they could sweep the Tigers they would be sitting comfortably in first place come next week, when they return to their own personal house of horrors in Minnesota to take on the Twins.

Wins like this tend to be momentum builders, and the White Sox could sure use all momentum they can get heading into this big series in Detroit. Jose Contreras (4-8) will take on Detroit's Justin Verlander (10-5). Game time is 12:05pm CT.

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