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White Sox-Orioles postponed because of rain
By the time Mark Buehrle, who was the Opening Day pitcher, makes his next mound appearance for the White Sox, three other rotation members will have started one more game than him.
The Sox are being extra careful with Buehrle's innings-stressed arm this season but what happened Friday had nothing to do with caution. After he threw a perfect first inning against the Orioles, rain intervened and forced the game to be postponed.
Instead of scheduling Buehrle for one of Saturday's split-doubleheader games (the makeup is scheduled for 12:05 p.m., the regular game stays at 6:05 p.m.), the Sox have moved Buehrle back to Monday.
"Maybe a few years ago we would have contemplated it," pitching coach Don Cooper said. "We didn't even contemplate it."
Cooper treated Friday's "outing" as a typical side session and said it would not bother Buehrle.
"Anything that comes his way he is fine with, he rolls with whatever comes his way," Cooper said. "Always has."
Instead, the Sox will start left-hander John Danks in the first game Saturday with long reliever Nick Masset stepping in as a starter in the nightcap.
Masset has started before, including once against the Cubs last season when he went more than five innings.
"I said I had to be ready all the time, this is a perfect case," Masset said. "I will try to pitch to contact and get more ground balls than usual and try to get five or six innings.
"I basically have to go out and do what I do and not change anything up. It's nice that I know the night before, it gives me the first half of the day to get ready."
Sunday's starter remains Jose Contreras, then Buehrle goes Monday followed by Javier Vazquez and Gavin Floyd, although Cooper said it could change after that.
Vazquez, Contreras and Danks all will have five starts by the time Buehrle makes his fifth start Monday.
Buehrle got one fly ball out and two on grounders in his inning.
Orioles starter Brian Burres, who will start Saturday's first game, faced only Nick Swisher. Then the rain came and still was falling when the game was called after 2 hours 21 minutes.
What the rainout does is split up left-handers Buehrle and Danks,
"We can go back to it," Cooper said. "All lefties aren't alike. The only thing similar is they both throw with their left hand. They're not the same styles."
While he had thrown seven innings each of his previous three starts, Buehrle entered the game with a 5.96 ERA, which could be a cause for concern but isn't with manager Ozzie Guillen.
"One of the pitchers I have the most confidence in is Buehrle because of what he has done in the past," Guillen said. "I don't worry about him, I really don't.
"I don't want to make an excuse for him, but in Cleveland we don't make a couple of plays, and boom. In Tampa Bay, we don't make a couple of plays, boom. We have to be perfect with him almost every time because the ball is going to be in play."