CHICAGO(AP) The driving rainstorm that postponed Wednesday's Detroit-Chicago game gave
an extra day of rest and he took full advantage. Or did he?
''Nah,'' he said, smiling, ''I think I would have thrown a no-hitter if I had pitched yesterday.''
As it is, the
left-hander came pretty close to duplicating - or even improving upon - the no-hitter he threw in 2007. Buehrle retired the
first 19 batters Thursday night before
's double ended his bid for a perfect game.
That was the only hit Buehrle allowed in eight innings as he led Chicago to a 6-0 victory over the Tigers, who were shut out
for the first time this season.
Buehrle's dominance had a familiar look to Tigers catcher
, who was playing for Texas on April 18, 2007, when Buehrle threw his no-hitter.
''He had similar stuff,'' said Laird, who made the final out for the Rangers that day. ''He was back and forth, cutters in,
keeping you off balance, getting a lot of groundballs and guys having a lot of bad swings.
''I was thinking ... 'Darn, I'm going to be in the lineup twice if this happens.'''
Buehrle (5-0) said he threw more changeups this time against mostly cut fastballs in '07. The 30-year-old is the first
lefty to win his first five decisions in a season since
Asked if he thought he would ever lose this season, he said: ''Probably. Then I'm going to retire.''
Fat chance. He's having too much fun.
''I feel so lucky,'' Buehrle said. ''It's an honor to pitch in the major leagues. It's a kid's game and I try to have as much
fun as I can, win or lose. A lot of people would love to be doing what I'm doing, and I appreciate every minute of it.''
The team is 6-0 in Buehrle's starts - and 7-14 in games started by all others.
A.J. Pierzynski and
homered for the
, who snapped a four-game losing streak.
allowed two singles in the ninth but preserved Chicago's second shutout this season by retiring the next three batters.
Working quickly and throwing strikes, Buehrle didn't need any great defensive plays and went to a three-ball count only once
through 6 1-3 innings.
After Polanco lined an 0-2 pitch into the left-field corner, the fans gave Buehrle a standing ovation. Buehrle then walked
, loading the bases with two outs, before retiring Laird on a fly to center.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland was effusive in his praise of Buehrle, who is 14-8 with a 2.86 ERA in 27 career starts against
''In, out, cut the ball, jam guys, tail away, change up on them - that's the art of pitching,'' Leyland said. ''He just carved
us up, made it look easy.''
The game took 2 hours, 2 minutes - one minute less than Buerhle's no-hitter, which also finished 6-0.
This time, the
scored five runs in the first inning with two outs to give Buehrle all the cushion he needed.
before giving up
's RBI single.
followed with a two-run double and scored on Pierzynski's homer into the bleachers in right.
had scored a total of four runs in the first innings of their first 26 games.
Nix, who has spent most of his nine-year professional career in the minors, hit his first career homer in the fourth. The
rookie was playing only because
, the runner-up in last year's AL Rookie of the Year voting but only a .211 hitter so far this season.
One start after allowing five runs in five innings, Galarraga allowed six runs in six. His ERA has gone from 1.85 before those
outings to 4.08.
Notes: In his last six games, Pierzynski is batting .542 with three homers and seven RBIs, lifting his average from .220 to
.313. ... Tigers LHP
, on the DL with anxiety disorder because he had trouble throwing strikes in spring training, is scheduled to make his season
debut next Wednesday at Minnesota. ... Polanco has a career .406 average against Buehrle and .325 against Chicago.