Rangers applaud Buehrle's effort
Hitters tip their caps to starter after no-hitter
CHICAGO -- The Rangers gave all the credit to Mark Buehrle and the White Sox defense.There were no excuses made, no excessive complaining about breaks that didn't go their way or how they missed pitches they should have hit. Wednesday night belonged to Buehrle, and the Rangers readily admitted that after they suffered through the third no-hitter by an opponent in club history with a 6-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. "I don't think we were able to center much on him all night," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He kept the ball down, changed speeds and kept us off guard. There wasn't much for us to center tonight." There had been two previous no-hitters thrown against the Rangers in club history. Jim Colborn of the Kansas City Royals threw the first on May 14, 1977, at Kauffman Stadium and Mike Witt of the Angels threw a perfect game against Texas on the final day of the 1984 season. Buehrle allowed just one walk while striking out eight for the first no-hitter of his career. "He pitched great today," said designated hitter Sammy Sosa, who had the only walk but was picked off first base in the fifth inning. "Everything he threw up there, he had command of. The guy had a no-hitter. What can you say. He did a great job." "He was good," said Rangers catcher Gerald Laird, who was 4-for-9 in his career against Buehrle coming into the game. "He didn't throw anything in the middle of the plate to me. He had his good stuff and it showed." Laird was the final hitter and he ended it with a slow grounder to third baseman Joe Crede for the third out in the ninth inning. "You want to get him, but he just kept pitching his game," Laird said. "I wanted to break it up, but when a guy has the caliber of stuff that he had tonight, it's tough to do. He pitched well." Buehrle did it with his usual wide assortment of pitches. But the Rangers said the pitch that gave them the most trouble was a cut fastball that runs in on right-handed hitters. "He'd jam you with it and then he'd bring it back door," first baseman Mark Teixeira said. "He was the best I've ever seen and we've seen Buehrle when he has his good stuff. He made no mistakes. You can kick yourself when you swing at bad pitches, but he was hitting the corners all night." Hank Blalock had the best swings against Buehrle. With two out in the second he hit a fly ball to deep right but Jermaine Dye caught it just off the top of the fence to end the inning.
Blalock came up again in the fifth and hit a sharp grounder into the right-side hole. This time Tadahito Iguchi made a diving stop to his left and recovered quickly to get Blalock at first."He threw a no-hitter; that's all you can say," Blalock said. "He was on from the get-go and they made some nice plays behind him. He's got life on his four-seam fastball and threw all of his other pitches. He kept us off balance and threw a no-hitter. He's a great big-league starter." Buehrle was on Wednesday, and the Rangers admitted it.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.