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White Sox followed Pierzynski's role in near perfecto

White Sox followed Pierzynski's role in near perfecto

CHICAGO -- A number of White Sox players and coaches spent the end of Tuesday's scheduled off-day watching Texas right-hander Yu Darvish come within one out of a perfect game against the Astros. There was a decided White Sox connection, with A.J. Pierzynski trying to join Ron Hassey as the second catcher in Major League history to be behind the plate for two perfect games, and Philip Humber in the Houston dugout.

Humber threw a perfect game, with Pierzynski catching, on April 21 of last season against Seattle. But this year's White Sox squad watched Tuesday's action more as fans.

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"When [Marwin Gonzalez] got the hit, I stood up and started screaming because I was kind of mad," White Sox closer Addison Reed said. "That was an awesome game that [Darvish] threw. It would have been better if he allowed a hit in the seventh inning."

"I love watching baseball and I was into it, and I kind of felt for him in that whole situation and A.J. getting that close," White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers said. "Obviously, both of them did a great job."

Flowers has never caught a no-hitter at any level, although he did come within six outs of a perfect game with Zach Stewart pitching against Minnesota on Sept. 5, 2011. Stewart retired the first 21 batters he faced before Danny Valencia doubled to right.

The fact that Darvish rarely shook off Pierzynski's signs showed Flowers that the pitcher put his complete trust in the man who was the White Sox catcher for the past eight years.

"That's the kind of situation you like as a catcher, it's all on you," Flowers said. "You don't like it when they give up a hit at the end of the game, but a lot of that success yesterday was A.J.'s hard work and his preparation and that whole thing. It's tough when that happens, for sure."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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