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July 30, 2009

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Twins foil Buehrle's bid for perfect game mark

CHICAGO White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle chased a second consecutive perfect game for five-plus innings on Tuesday before losing 3-5 to the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis.

Buehrle, who retired 27 consecutive batters in his perfect game last Thursday and his last batter in a July 18 win, sat down 17 Twins in a row on Tuesday to set the major league record for retired consecutive batters at 45.

The left-hander (11-4) walked the third batter he faced in the sixth inning to ruin his perfect game, then gave up two consecutive hits and a run to spoil his no-hitter.

"Right now, it means nothing," Buehrle said when asked about the record.

"It's probably one of the most fired up I've been after a game," he said after Chicago lost for the 13th time in its last 15 games at the Metrodome.

San Francisco's Jim Barr set the previous record of 41 consecutive retired batters in 1972 and Buehrle's White Sox teammate Bobby Jenks tied it 2007.

"It's an honor," Buehrle, who has two no-hitters, said. "This is one of those things I didn't think I'd do. But it's frustrating."

Elsewhere in the American League, it was: Royals 4, Orioles 3 (in 11 innings); Ray 6, Yankees 2; Athletics 9, Red Sox 8 (in 11 innings); Rangers 7, Tigers 3; Angels 7, Indians 6; and Mariners 4, Blue Jays 3.

Four more runs

In the National League, it was: Cardinals 10, Dodgers 0; Marlins 4, Braves 3; Mets 4, Rockies 0; Padres 3, Reds 2; Astros 11, Cubs 6; Nationals 8, Brewers 3; Phillies 4, Diamondbacks 3; and Giants 3, Pirates 2.

In Minneapolis, Minnesota broke open the game with four more runs in the seventh, all charged to Buehrle, before he left after giving up three more hits.

"It seemed like for the first six innings, nobody hit the ball on the barrel," said Denard Span, who got the first hit off Buehrle in the sixth.

"Everybody was getting out and just five-hoppers to the infielders. This is the best I've ever seen (Buehrle)."

Joe Mauer's ground rule double produced the first run off Buehrle in the sixth. An RBI single by Brendan Harris and Nick Punto's two-run single made it 4-1 with Chicago reliever Octavio Dotel walking in the fifth run with the bases loaded.

With the win the Twins (51-50) moved into a tie with the White Sox for second place in the AL Central.

Gordon Beckham drove in the White Sox's final two runs with a single in the ninth. Jermaine Dye homered in the sixth for their other run.


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