Dustin Hermanson's impressive saves streak ended suddenly Saturday night, costing Mark Buehrle a long-awaited and much-deserved victory.
San Diego tagged Hermanson for two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to hand the White Sox a 2-1 loss that snapped the team's four-game winning streak.
Hermanson had converted 15 consecutive save opportunities and needed only two more outs when Ramon Hernandez ripped a home run over the left-field fence to tie the game.
Consecutive singles by Sean Burroughs and Robert Fick and an intentional walk to pinch-hitter Mark Sweeney set up Damian Jackson's single past shortstop Juan Uribe to score the winning run for the Padres.
"I just didn't get the job done," Hermanson said. "I was focused. I didn't make a good pitch to Hernandez."
The loss deprived Buehrle (7-1) of his first win since May 18.
Buehrle pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings with no margin for error. He needed to be at his best because San Diego rookie Tim Stauffer pitched seven innings of three-hit ball. He retired the final 13 batters he faced before being lifted for a pinch-hitter.
Stauffer, the Padres' first-round pick and fourth overall selection in the 2002 draft, showed no signs of the right shoulder fatigue that sidelined him for the entire 2003 season.
Working on eight days' rest, Stauffer struck out seven, including the top of the Sox's order in the sixth inning, and walked none. Buehrle also retired 13 consecutive batters at one point.
Buehrle pitched at least six innings for the 41st consecutive time, the longest such streak since Curt Schilling's 41 in 2000-01 with Arizona. Buehrle's streak is the longest by a Sox since Jack McDowell pitched six innings or more in 48 consecutive starts from July 4, 1992, to Sept. 6, 1993.
Buehrle also is making a case for his second All-Star Game appearance with five starts remaining in the first half. He has allowed only four runs in his past 36 1/3 innings.
Buehrle struck out six, including the middle of the Padres' order in the fourth.
But he had plenty of help from his defense. After allowing consecutive singles to start the second, Buehrle induced Geoff Blum to hit into a double play.
Buehrle didn't allow another hit until Jackson hit a single with one out in the sixth. Jackson moved into scoring position with two outs, but Buehrle left him stranded as Phil Nevin flied to center. Buehrle worked out of trouble again in the seventh after allowing a one-out double to Ramon Hernandez.
But in the eighth, manager Ozzie Guillen elected to pull Buehrle with a runner at first and two out. Cliff Politte then struck out Nevin.
Politte has struck out at least one batter in 18 of his 22 appearances.
But the ninth inning became a nightmare for the Sox.
They missed a chance to add an insurance run after A.J. Pierzynski hit an opposite-field double down the left-field line.
Third base coach Joey Cora waved Paul Konerko home. Khalil Greene's relay throw sailed to the left of the plate, but Hernandez recovered to tag Konerko's knee as his left foot touched the plate.
Plate umpire Laz Diaz called out Konerko, who held his head while Guillen argued.
The Sox scored their only run in the top of the first when Scott Podsednik legged out an infield hit and scored on Tadahito Iguchi's double. Iguchi had two of the Sox's six hits, but the Sox had only three hits after the third. Sox batters struck out 12 times--nine after the fifth inning.
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