Buehrle makes interleague history in Sox 5-4 win over Pirates

PITTSBURGH - Put an interleague game on the schedule, and there's no better pitcher than Mark Buehrle.

Especially when he's opposing a team like the Pirates, who couldn't be playing much worse.

Buehrle allowed 2 runs over 7 1/3 innings to become the winningest pitcher since interleague play began, and the White Sox ran the Pirates' losing streak to 11 games by holding on to win 5-4 Thursday night.

Buehrle's 22 victories since interleague play began in 1997 top the 21 each by Mike Mussina and Jamie Moyer. Buehrle's 22-6 record and .786 winning percentage are easily the best of the five pitchers who have won at least 20 games against the opposing league.

"I think it's to my advantage when I don't see teams too often," Buehrle said. "I have faced some hitters 80-100 times in my career, so it's kind of like, what do you try to do to trick them? I think when you see teams and hitters only every two or three years, it's to my advantage."

Buehrle (5-6) was in control until being pulled with the White Sox leading 5-1 in the eighth, when Andrew McCutchen and Lastings Milledge had RBI singles as the Pirates scored three times against three pitchers.

Pedro Alvarez, the Pirates' much-awaited rookie who made his major-league debut Wednesday, struck out for the third time with runners on first and third to end the comeback. Alvarez went hitless in 4 at-bats, also grounding into a double play after the Pirates put two on with one out while trailing 3-0 in the fourth.

With Bobby Jenks pitching the ninth inning for his 13th save in 14 opportunities, the White Sox swept the three-game series and won their seventh in eight games. Left fielder Juan Pierre made an excellent sliding catch of pinch-hitter Delwyn Young's drive down the line with one out in the ninth.

Buehrle wasn't scheduled to start against the Pirates despite his 4-0 record in 5 starts against them, but was moved up a night because of Jake Peavy's sore shoulder. He gave up 6 hits.

"A lot of people will say, 'Well, you played Pittsburgh,' " manager Ozzie Guillen said. "It doesn't matter. We've got to compete no matter what kind of ballclub we see."

Carlos Quentin, extending his offensive surge, had a pair of doubles and drove in a run against Pirates starter Ross Ohlendorf (0-5), who is winless in 13 starts since Aug. 18. Quentin boosted his average from .201 to .213 by getting 4 hits and driving in 3 during the final two games of the series.

Gordon Beckham had a sacrifice fly in the second for his fourth RBI of the series and doubled to start the seventh.

The White Sox hadn't swept a three-game road series since June 29-July 1 in Cleveland.

<p class="News">White Sox game tracker</p>

<p class="News">White Sox 5, Pirates 4</p>

<p class="News"><b>Movin' up:</b> Mark Buehrle pitched a day earlier than scheduled due to Jake Peavy's sore right shoulder, but it didn't seem to matter. Buehrle pitched into the eighth inning and earned the victory, giving him a league-best 22 in interleague play since 1997. Peavy will pitch Saturday against the Nationals.</p>

<p class="News"><b>Hitting his stride:</b> Carlos Quention went 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles.</p>

<p class="News"><b>In closing:</b> Bobby Jenks pitched the ninth and got his 13th save in 14 tries.</p>