Buehrle blasts first homer of career
Starter goes deep for first time since high school
MILWAUKEE - White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski thought he'd never see what transpired Sunday afternoon at Miller Park.
In the third inning of Chicago's 5-4 win over the Brewers, White Sox starting pitcher Mark Buehrle hit a home run into the Chicago bullpen in right field, tying the game at 1 and giving Buehrle the first long ball of his career.
"I was just in shock, because I've seen him hit so many times and he stinks," said Pierzynski, who eventually drove in the game-winning run in the top of the ninth. "I mean, look at poor [Brewers starting pitcher Braden Looper]. He threw it right where [Buehrle] was looking for it -- well, there was no looking. He just threw it high, and Mark hit that ball a long way."
Buehrle's home run was the first by a White Sox pitcher since Jon Garland homered against Cincinnati on June 18, 2006.
The left-hander, who took a no-decision in the game, said it was his first home run since he played in a high school summer league.
"As soon as I hit it, I put my head down and said, 'I'm getting to second base on this one if it lands in fair territory,'" said Buehrle, who got ribbed by teammates for not running out a hit in Interleague Play last season. "Then the place erupted, and I saw it land in the bullpen. It was pretty surprising."
It was just the fourth hit of Buehrle's career, as the 30-year old entered the game with three hits in 36 career at-bats. In his only other at-bat on Sunday, he grounded out to first.
After the homer, Buehrle went in the dugout hallway leading to the clubhouse, not only to avoid the "silent treatment" from his teammates, but also to bust out laughing himself.
"Just to feel [the ball] not jam my hands, it felt pretty good," said Buehrle, who received his home run ball afterward. "If I pop out to the pitcher and don't jam myself, I'm happy with it."
Cash Kruth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.