Surprise! Sox Come Back, Bail Out Buehrle

(SN Report #500) - For the first time this season, the White Sox fought their way back from a deficit to win in the last three innings, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 on Wednesday night.

The Sox found themselves down 5-1 going into the bottom of the fourth inning before a five-run comeback ended with a Carlos Lee game-winning two-run homer in the eighth.

The offensive output prevented a struggling Mark Buehrle from getting his eighth loss of the season. Buehrle was hit for five runs off 10 hits in six innings.

Unfortunately, for Buehrle, many of the runs scored off him came via seeing eye, and softly hit, singles in the third and fourth innings. Shannon Stewart reached on an infield single in the third, scoring on a Vernon Wells double, and Wells scored on a Tom Wilson single to right.

Tony Graffanino, who was playing third and batting seventh for Joe Crede, hit his fourth homer of the year, a solo shot, in the Sox' half of the third, putting the Sox down 2-1. It was one of three runs they scored off Blue Jays' starter Mark Hendrickson in 5 1/3 innings.

The Blue Jays extended the lead to 5-1 with a RBI-double by Stewart and back-to-back RBI-singles to shallow center by Reed Johnson and Wells.

Buehrle kept the Blue Jays offense, which is first in the majors in both runs (281) and batting average (.291), off the board in his final two innings. Buehrle struck out four and walked four in the game, throwing 111 pitches.

Tom Gordon pitched in relief of Buehrle, throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings, with Damaso Marte recording the final out in the eight. Marte was pulled after walking the leadoff man in the ninth.

Paul Konerko hit his third homer of the season in the seventh, putting the Sox within one. Konerko went 2-4 in the game with two RBIs.

The eighth inning for the Sox started with a walk to Jose Valentin. After a Frank Thomas groundout, advancing Valentin to second, and a Magglio Ordonez pop out, Lee stepped up against reliever Cliff Politte with his eighth homer and 27th and 28th RBIs of the season.

Billy Koch came in with a runner on first and no outs in the ninth and picked up his fifth save, but not without a suspense-filled final out. With runners on the corners and two outs, David Berg hit a soft grounder in the hole at shortstop. Valentin, running on the play, made an off-balance, off the mark throw to Konerko at first, who was forced off the bag only to come down just in time to tag Berg.

The Sox have Thursday off before begining a three-game set against the Tigers on Friday at 7:05 p.m. CT on WCIU. Jon Garland is scheduled to start against 0-9 lefty Mike Maroth.

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