Buehrle Tough in Perhaps Final Sox Outing

Chicago 2, Toronto 1

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011  |  Updated 9:42 PM CDT
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Buehrle Tough in Perhaps Final Sox Outing

AP

Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Mark Buehrle acknowledges the crowd after leaving the game against the Toronto Blue Jays in the eighth inning.

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Mark Buehrle pitched seven shutout innings in possibly his final start for the White Sox and Tyler Flowers homered to lead Chicago to a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

The White Sox played their first game since Ozzie Guillen was released from his contract after Monday night's victory over the Blue Jays. Pitching coach Don Cooper served as interim manager.

Buehrle (13-9) allowed six hits, struck out six and walked none. He left to an ovation before throwing a pitch in the top of the eighth.

Buehrle will be a free agent after the season. General manager Ken Williams said before Tuesday night's game he didn't know yet whether Buehrle fit into the team's future plans. Buehrle, a 38th-round draft pick in 1998, is 161-119 in his career.

The durable and fast-working left-hander has a no-hitter and a perfect game on his White Sox resume from a career that began in 2000. He reached the 200-inning mark for the 11th straight season when he got the second out of the second inning, and he's had at least 10 wins and 30 starts every season since 2001.

When the White Sox came out for the start of the eighth, the rest of the team stayed behind near the dugout, allowing Buehrle to go to the mound by himself. Cooper then went out and removed Buehrle from the game as his teammates stood and applauded.

Buehrle waved to the fans who where chanting his name and hugged his teammates as they headed to the field. Several minutes later, Buehrle emerged again from the dugout for a curtain call, taking off his cap and extending his arms toward the small crowd announced at 23,934.

Flowers hit a solo homer, his fifth of the season, off Henderson Alvarez (1-3) in the second. A.J. Pierzynski singled home a run in the sixth.

Toronto's Mike McCoy greeted Jesse Crain with his second homer to cut the lead to 2-1.

Chris Sale got the final five outs to earn his eighth save in nine chances.

Alvarez allowed seven hits in seven innings.

Chicago first baseman Adam Dunn went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts, dropping his average to .159 with 177 strikeouts. Dunn needs six plate appearances in the final game to finish with the worst qualifying batting average in modern big league history, surpassing Rob Deer's .179 mark in 1991.

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