Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox tossed a perfect game Thursday, blanking the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-0, in Chicago to become the sixth pitcher in Major League Baseball history to throw a perfect game and a no-hitter in his career. He authored a 6-0 no-hitter against Texas in 2007. Ironically, Eric Cooper was the home plate umpire for both of Buehrle’s gems.
Buehrle did need a little late defensive help. Gabe Kapler drilled a ninth-inning pitch deep to left-center field, but Sox centerfielder DeWayne Wise was able to track the ball down and make a leaping catch at the fence to steal a homer and save the perfecto. Buehrle then got Jason Bartlett to hit a grounder to shortstop for the final out of the game.
The win pulled the 50-45 White Sox into a tie for first with Detroit in the American League Central Division. The 57-37 New York Yankees lead the AL East, and the 55-38 Los Angeles Angels are best in the West. In the National League, the 53-39 Philadelphia Phillies lead the East Division, the 51-46 St. Louis Cardinals lead the Central (where just two games separate the top four teams); and in the West, the 61-34 Los Angeles Dodgers are on top.