Buehrle, White Sox edged by Rangers

Buehrle, White Sox edged by Rangers

ARLINGTON -- Here's the sum total of what Mark Buehrle knew about Texas catcher Matt Treanor prior to the White Sox 4-2 loss to the Rangers on Tuesday night at the Ballpark in Arlington.

"He's married to some volleyball player," said Buehrle with a laugh, referring to Treanor's two-time Olympic gold medal-winning wife, Misty May.

It's safe to say the White Sox ace now holds a little greater knowledge about the baseball abilities possessed by the previously career backup backstop.

Treanor, who was named the Rangers' No. 1 catcher on Tuesday, launched a solo home run with two outs in the second and doubled home two runs with two outs in the fourth on a long drive on which left fielder Juan Pierre looked like he could have had a play, giving the Rangers (9-11) a 3-0 lead. The White Sox (8-12) cut the deficit to one and actually loaded the bases in the sixth but never pushed across the tying or go-ahead run as their winning streak ended at three.

Texas starter C.J. Wilson (2-1) held the White Sox to just two runs on five hits over six innings, and the relief combination of Dustin Nippert and Frank Francisco faced the minimum nine batters over the final three innings.

On the offense-related side for the South Siders, their chances to win this contest came and went in the fifth and sixth innings.

Alex Rios opened the fifth with a double, swiped third and scored on Carlos Quentin's infield single off Wilson's glove. Donny Lucy drew a one-out walk to put runners on first and second, but Jayson Nix flew out deep to left and Pierre grounded out to second to end the threat.

In the sixth, Wilson hit Gordon Beckham with a pitch, Paul Konerko singled off the left-field wall and Quentin walked to load the bases with two outs. Alexei Ramirez singled to right to bring home Beckham, but the tying run in Konerko was held up by third-base coach Jeff Cox with Vladimir Guerrero getting to the ball quickly.

Lucy jumped ahead on Wilson in the count at 3-and-0, but eventually struck out on the ninth pitch of the at-bat. Even with the inability to score firmly in mind in hindsight, manager Ozzie Guillen felt as if Cox made the right call with Konerko.

"Yeah, I think so. Yes, yes," Guillen said. "He didn't want to take a risk in that particular time.

"Man on third base, we don't bring the guy in. That changed the game. Lately, we win the games because we hit home runs late in the game. I was making a point [on Sunday], if we don't do that, it would be tougher for us to win games. We have to do those little things, we have to execute."

Pinch-hitter Mark Teahen opened the seventh with a single off Nippert, but Pierre's grounder back to the mound was turned into a double play to snuff out any comeback before it began.

"I basically just put on my uniform today. I didn't move the ball well or nothing," said Pierre, who finished 0-for-4. "Our offense really didn't click tonight, but we were still right there in it in the seventh and eighth inning."

Buehrle (2-3) suffered his third straight loss, but gave his team a chance to win. He allowed four runs on seven hits over seven innings, marking his third 2010 start of at least seven frames, fanning two and walking one.

If not for Treanor's presence, Buehrle just might have escaped with a 2-1 victory. This particular level of dominance from the Texas catcher is surprising considering designated hitter Ryan Garko had a .480 average against Buehrle and Guerrero had four career home runs and six RBIs in head-to-head battles.

That surprise did not extend to Buehrle, who did manage to induce an inning-ending double play on Treanor's third career at-bat against him in the sixth.

"You go up and down my career against some of these guys, and I've done well against some of the bigger name guys," said Buehrle, who threw 67 of his 104 pitches for strikes. "Then, you say, 'Who in the heck is this guy. This guy is hitting .400 off of you?' A lot of backup guys who don't get much playing time, they do well off of me."

Guillen's crew entered Tuesday's opener of a six-game road trip to Texas and New York riding high off a three-game weekend sweep of Seattle. That enthusiasm was increased tenfold courtesy of walk-off home runs from Andruw Jones and Rios on Friday and Saturday, respectively, and Konerko's game-winning shot in the bottom of the eighth on Sunday.

Now, the goal for the White Sox is to do it without the long-ball reliance. They finished 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position on Tuesday, which is a marked improvement from their 9-for-63 stretch in that situation over the previous 10 games. It still was not good enough to top Treanor and the Rangers.

"Tonight, we just couldn't get anything going, starting off from the top," Pierre said.

"We have to get the guys in without the home run, put consecutive base hits together," Buehrle said. "But I have to do a better job putting up a zero after we score. That's the worst thing we can do right now as pitchers."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.