For a team riding the high of winning eight of its first 12 games and about to begin the season's longest homestand, Tuesday wasn't much of a welcome home for the White Sox.
The day started with their starting shortstop--Jose Valentin--being put on the disabled list and kept getting worse in an 11-8 loss to the New York Yankees before 32,034 drenched fans at U.S. Cellular Field.
But despite the loss, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was proud of the way his team fought back from a 7-0 first-inning deficit.
"I've been on winning teams and losing teams and I was never as proud as I was today," he said. "This team battled back down 7-0 against that kind of team and made them bring the best pitcher they have to stop us. That's something I should be proud of."
Mark Buehrle gave up eight runs in two innings of work, which despite the furious Sox rally, was too much to overcome in a game that was delayed twice for a total of 84 minutes by rain.
After trailing 8-1 going into the bottom of the second, the Sox pulled to within 8-7 after five. But the bullpen crew of Shingo Takatsu, Neal Cotts and Mike Jackson couldn't hold the Yankees in check.
On paper Tuesday's pitching matchup of Buehrle against lefthander Alex Graman should have been decisively in the Sox favor. While Buehrle has established himself as one of the best left-handers in the American League, Graman was making his major-league debut.
But it was Buehrle who looked like he was in his maiden performance in a first inning that saw the Yankees send 12 men to the plate, scoring seven runs on six hits, two Sox errors, two walks and a hit batter.
The seven runs were a career-high for Buehrle, and it was his worst inning since allowing six runs on April 27, 2002, when he lasted just 2/3 of an inning against Oakland.
The Sox pushed another run across in the bottom of the second to make it 8-2 when the rains came.
The delay served two purposes--ending Buehrle's night, and awaking the Sox bats once play resumed.
They began their comeback with three in the third on an RBI double by Ross Gload and two-run double by Aaron Rowand. Home runs by Paul Konerko and Rowand in the fifth brought the Sox to within 8-7.
Jon Adkins, in relief of Buehrle, held the Yankees scoreless for three innings before giving way to Takatsu in the sixth.
After striking out Alex Rodriguez to open the inning, Takatsu gave up a single to Giambi and a walk to Gary Sheffield. Takatsu gave way to Neal Cotts, who walked Posada to load the bases and Hideki Matsui to force in Giambi to make it 9-7.
The inning could have been worse, but Ruben Sierra hit into a short-to-first double play.
The Sox came right back in the bottom of the sixth on a double by Uribe and an RBI single by Ordonez, his third hit of the game, to make it 9-8.
"[The Yankees] were probably as frustrated as we were," Konerko said. "When you spot teams that many runs, you'll have trouble."
The Sox couldn't get any closer off Yankee relievers Paul Quantrill, Tom Gordon and Mariano Rivera. The Yankees added a couple insurance runs off Mike Jackson, the first runs the veteran pitcher has allowed this season.
Guillen said Sunday in Tampa that the one thing he knew about his team was that it would never quit, and that was proven Tuesday.
"Today they showed me what the White Sox are all about," he said. "If we keep playing like that, it's going to be fun. I feel proud of my kids."