Someday Mark Buehrle will earn the 100th victory of his successful White Sox career.
But it already has been six weeks since Buehrle won his last game, an astonishing development that became more curious Tuesday night in a 7-3 loss to the New York Yankees at U.S. Cellular Field.
Buehrle (2-3) allowed season-highs in runs (five) and hits (11) against a Yankees team that had lost five straight in games against left-handed starters, including seven of the last eight.
In eight starts since his last victory, April 23 at Kansas City, Buehrle is 0-3 with a 4.73 ERA. The Sox (26-28), meanwhile, lost for the eighth time in their last 10 games.
During that stretch, Buehrle has absorbed his share of tough luck. In his last start Thursday at Toronto the only two hits he allowed were homers in a 2-0 loss.
He also was saddled with a no decision when since-demoted Mike MacDougal failed to protect a 3-2 lead in a 6-3 loss to the Cubs on May 18.
But the Yankees chipped away at Buehrle and finally broke through with a four-run sixth that snapped a 1-1 tie and marked their first five-hit inning since May 12.
Buehrle, who fell to 1-5 lifetime against the Yankees, put a runner on base in each of his six innings but was aided by three double plays. He finally paid the price in the sixth when the Yankees collected four straight hits to start the inning, capped by Alex Rodriguez's line-drive double off the center field wall.
Jorge Posada followed with a fly to right that Jermaine Dye grabbed and threw to home plate with momentum from the catch, but Bobby Abreu barely beat catcher A.J. Pierzynski's tag. Hideki Matsui, one of four left-handed hitters in the Yankees' lineup, capped the rally with an RBI single.
The Yankees' left-handed hitters were 7-for-11 off Buehrle, who had limited lefties to a .205 batting average entering Tuesday's game.
Buehrle's ERA has swelled from 2.59 to 3.99 during his eight-start drought.
Reliever Ryan Bukvich made his Sox debut in the seventh but was pulled after allowing a run on three hits in two-thirds of an inning. Dewon Day surrendered a home run to Rodriguez that traveled an estimated 412 feet in the ninth. Sox pitchers allowed a season-high 17 hits to the Yankees.
Buehrle has taken over for rookie left-hander John Danks as the primary victim of low run support. He has received only one run of support in his past 14 innings. The Sox stranded runners in scoring position in the first, second and fifth innings against rookie Tyler Clippard (3-1).
Dye grounded into an inning-ending double play in the first and grounded to third with a runner at second to end the fifth. He is 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position over his past 13 games.
Dye's double play came after the first of two walks to Jim Thome, who passed Henry Aaron for 23rd on the all-time list with 1,403.
For the second consecutive game, manager Ozzie Guillen employed a lineup with Paul Konerko in the sixth spot. Konerko responded with two hits, including a single off reliever Kyle Farnsworth that loaded the bases with one out in the eighth.
But the Sox could muster only one run. They loaded the bases again in the ninth, forcing Yankees manager Joe Torre to employ closer Mariano Rivera.
Dye's sacrifice fly scored Jerry Owens, but Pierzynski grounded to second to end the game. The Sox are now 5-for-42 with runners in scoring position over their past four games.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times