After shutting out the Blue Jays 2-0 Saturday night, Mark Buehrle was saying that the White Sox winning their fifth game in six tries was "kind of the way we thought it'd be coming out of spring training."
Style-wise, maybe. Personnel-wise, no.
Buehrle never would have dreamed his hitting heroes in a late July victory—much less one over former Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay—would be … Jerry Owens and Danny Richar.
Strange, but true.
Richar singled in his first major-league at-bat and then singled in the seventh inning before Owens hit his first big-league home run.
"It's just indescribable, especially to do it in that situation," Owens said. "And to win the ballgame, that's what's most important to me. All the home runs I had hit in my life were by accident, and this one was too."
"I'll never forget tonight," Richar said. "It was beautiful for me."
The two kids are playing because of injuries, ineffectiveness and trades. Buehrle is pitching because he's the old master.
And Saturday was one of his trademark 2 hour 8 minute gems, coming just two days after the birth of his first child in Missouri on Thursday. It also came after one of the worst outings of his career, 14 hits and seven runs against the Tigers.
"I was texting some guys and they said, 'Don't screw it up. You haven't been here and we've been winning,' " Buehrle said with a smile. "I almost didn't want to come back."
But he drove the five-plus hours Saturday morning without much sleep.
"I guess I have to do that every start from now on," he said.
Owens , Richar and fellow former Charlotte player Josh Fields, made up one-third of Saturday's lineup. It's part of the new-look, new-enthusiasm Sox.
Manager Ozzie Guillen said the exciting Richar "should bring us a little more spark, a little more fire."
Guillen didn't know what to expect from Richar because he had never seen him play.
"I don't have expectations to see Roberto Alomar and Rickey Henderson all together," he joked.
Richar batted ninth, keeping him from the pressure spot at No. 2 and giving the Sox an interesting, different look.
"We have some speed on the bottom with [Scott Podsednik eighth] and Richar and Owens, making this ballclub a little quicker," he said.
And, for one game at least, a lot better.
Of course, it makes things easier when Buehrle is throwing zeros and Bobby Jenks (30th save) is hitting 96 m.p.h. on the radar gun.
Buehrle allowed eight hits but used double plays in the second, third and fourth innings to get out of trouble. Halladay threw eight innings and was nearly perfect, except for those back-to-back hits in the seventh.
"As soon as the game was over, I was walking upstairs to the clubhouse and I said, 'That's a baseball game,' " Guillen said. "It's fun to see a game like that once in a while. No mistakes, great pitching, clutch hitting, great defense. Both sides. Fun to watch."
And just what Guillen and Buehrle figured they would see the entire season.
"It seems like everything's clicking right now," Buehrle said. "It just seems like this is the team that we thought we had coming out of spring training: Guys getting on bases, stealing bases, moving guys over, the pitching's there, everyone's doing their job."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times