Heading into Monday night's first start against his former team, Mark Buehrle wasn't quite sure what to expect.
"Obviously, it's going to be weird seeing some of those guys in the batter's box and going up against them," Buehrle told the Toronto Sun. "But I'll be trying to get them out just like they're trying to get hits off me."
During his memorable 12-year run with the White Sox, Buehrle gave up plenty of hits. But the workhorse left-hander never panicked and always seemed to wiggle out of jams.
Not much has changed.
Now wearing a Blue Jays uniform after pitching for the Miami Marlins last season, Buehrle went 6 innings against the Sox on Monday night at Rogers Centre, allowing 9 hits and 2 walks.
But the damage was minimal, and Toronto edged the White Sox 4-3, dropping them to 1-6 on their 10-game road trip.
The Sox jumped on Buehrle (1-2) in the first inning, scoring 2 runs on 4 hits. After that they got plenty of frustration and not much else off the 34-year-old starter.
"Once he got through that first inning, then it became a clinic on hitting spots, changing speeds, stuff you've seen his whole career," White Sox manager Robin Ventura told reporters. "He's just a smart pitcher. He used our aggressiveness at times. He hit spots, took a little off, added a little on.
"Guys like him can pitch at this level because they're smart and don't have to throw 95 mph to get people out. It's something I know White Sox fans have seen forever, but it was a clinic."
Paul Konerko drove in the first run with an RBI single, not that he was gloating or anything. Konerko and Buehrle were tight friends for 11 years as Sox teammates, and they remain close.
"I felt a little weird," Konerko said. "It's not something you want to deal with as far as for me, because I played with him for so long. I didn't have much fun with it, and I don't think he did, either. But it was a good game, and he pitched well."
Buehrle sounded much like Konerko, and it was an awkward scene when the White Sox' captain came to the plate in the first inning.
"I was trying to not make eye contact with them, just kind of looking at the glove and keeping my head down more, which isn't me," Buehrle said. "You don't want to screw around there. With runners on and if something bad happens it won't look good.
"I obviously know how good of a hitter (Konerko) is; you have to make some pitches there, so you have to keep the ball down on him."
Gavin Floyd couldn't hold the early 2-0 lead as the Jays bounced right back to tie it in the bottom of the first inning. Macier Izturis' solo home run in the second inning put Toronto in front for good.
Floyd allowed 4 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks in 4 innings while losing for the third time in as many starts.