CHICAGO (AP) – Kurt Suzuki hit a go-ahead home run in the 10th inning, and the Oakland Athletics capitalized on Juan Pierre’s dropped fly ball in the ninth to rally to a 2-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.
The White Sox wasted a dominant pitching performance by Mark Buehrle with their second ninth-inning implosion of the season. Buehrle was lifted after eight scoreless innings and 99 pitches. He allowed only three baserunners – none past first base.
Matt Thorton, who already had two blown saves in two opportunities, came on and allowed a leadoff double to Andy LaRoche in the ninth. One out later, Daric Barton hit a deep fly that Pierre dropped in the left-field corner, allowing pinch-runner Cliff Pennington to easily score from second and tie the game 1-1.
Suzuki put the A’s ahead on a two-out solo shot off Jesse Crain (0-1) in the 10th. His line drive barely got over the wall in left.
Tyson Ross (1-0) pitched three scoreless innnings in his major-league debut and Brian Fuentes pitched a perfect 10th for his fourth save. Pierre, who was greeted by loud boos, grounded out to end it.
The pitching matchup between lefties Buehrle and Dallas Braden marked the 21st time in major-league history opposing starting pitchers who have thrown a perfect game have faced each other.
Buehrle, who pitched a perfect game on July 23, 2009, against the Rays and a no-hitter April 18, 2007, against Texas, appeared to have no-hit stuff again. He retired the first 10 batters before walking Barton in the fourth. Buehrle quickly made up for it by getting Josh Willingham to ground back to him to start an inning-ending double play.
Oakland didn’t get its first hit until Suzuki led off the sixth with a single. White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham had a chance to retire Suzuki, but he couldn’t come up with a sliding catch in foul territory.
Buehrle, who didn’t give up his next hit until a two-out single to Willingham in the seventh, struck out one and walked one in his third start this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the ninth time Buehrle has taken a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
Buehrle finally got some help in the fifth on Brent Lillibridge’s first homer of the season. After retiring the first two batters, Lillibridge tagged Braden’s first pitch to the bleachers in left-center, putting the White Sox ahead.
In his second start, Braden allowed one run on five hits. He struck out seven and walked two. He didn’t allow a hit until an infield single by Alex Rios in the fourth inning.
Paul Konerko, who was named co-AL player of the week, extended his 11-game hitting streak with a single in the sixth inning.
Before the game, the A’s and Trevor Cahill reached agreement on a new five-year contract worth $30.5 million, which takes him through all three of his arbitration-eligible seasons and first potential year of free agency.
“It feels good. I came up with them and I’m just glad they gave me the opportunity to lock me up and I’m guaranteed to pitch for a while, so I couldn’t be happier,” Cahill said before the game.
The 23-year-old is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA in two starts this season. He was the A’s opening day starter after winning 18 games last year with a 2.97 ERA in his second season in the majors. Cahill was a prime reason Oakland led the AL in ERA (3.56) and shutouts (17) in 2010 while holding opponents to a .245 batting average.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen still doesn’t have a clear timetable when DH Adam Dunn is going to be back in the lineup. “When he tells me he’s ready, I’m going to give him an extra day,” said Guillen. Dunn has missed six straight games after undergoing emergency appendectomy surgery on Wednesday. … RHP Jake Peavy is scheduled to throw 90 pitches in a rehab start on Wednesday. … The last time two opposing perfect game winners faced was when Arizona’s Randy Johnson faced San Diego’s David Wells on April 24, 2007.
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