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White Sox’ Buehrle keeps cool before Angels win on walk-off single

Chicago White Sox's Paul Konerko watches his 2000th career hit during eighth inning baseball game against Los Angeles Angels Anaheim

Chicago White Sox's Paul Konerko watches his 2,000th career hit, during eighth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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Updated: November 16, 2011 1:30AM



ANAHEIM, Calif. — John Danks knows what fellow White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle brings as a starting pitcher. He has witnessed first-hand what the veteran
Buehrle offers as a teammate
, clubhouse presence and friend. In a 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Peter Bourjos’ walk-off single against Sox reliever Jason Fr

asor on Tuesday night, Buehrle showed some of that after left fielder Juan Pierre, shortstop Alexei Ramirez and Tyler Flowers collaborated on an important out at home with the Sox trailing by a run in the sixth inning. Pierre and Ramirez made errors in the first inning that led to an Angels run, and center fielder Alex Rios got turned around on a triple that turned into a run in the fourth, but there was Buehrle, high-fiving teammates as he came off t he mound trailing 4-3 in the sixth.

‘‘He’s been the guy since I’ve been here, the first guy who made me feel comfortable,’’ Danks said. ‘‘I felt we were pretty close, but if I was doing something wrong, he was the first one to tell me about it, too. For lack of a better word, he’s a true professional. You don’t stay in this game and have the success he has without being one. He goes about his business the right way.’’

Danks doesn’t want to see
Buehrle,
32 , go about his business for another team when his contract runs out after this season. Danks recalls thinking the same thing about Paul Konerko when his contract was up after last year. He hoped somehow, some way, the front office would bring Konerko back.

‘‘I would say it’s similar to the Paulie deal last offseason,’’ Danks said Tuesday before Buehrle took the mound with a 3.14 ERA. ‘‘If there is any way in the world you can bring him back, you kind of have to. I’m not a GM, I don’t know all the business of the game, but from a teammate and player’s perspective, here’s a guy you cant afford to let go play in another uniform.’’

Konerko came back and got his 2,000th hit Tuesday, an opposite-field single against Ervin Santana with two outs in the eighth that pulled the Sox into a 4-4 tie. Knowing the American League Central-leading Detroit Tigers had already won and were five games ahead of the Sox in the loss column heightened the sense of urgency as the Sox opened a five-game trip out west.

But the Angels won it in the ninth on Bourjos’ one-out, bases-loaded single to left. The inning was set up when Erick Aybar singled and advanced to third on pinch hitter Alberto Callaspo’s single. Gordon Beckham wasn’t covering second base on the play, allowing Callaspo to reach second. Maicer Izturis was intentionally walked to load the bases for Bourjos.

The Angels scored a run in each of the first four innings. The Sox got two in the third on an RBI double by Beckham and an RBI single by Alejandro De Aza, who would later single, steal second and score on Konerko’s milestone hit.

Brent Morel doubled and scored on Pierre’s single in the fifth to pull the Sox to 4-3. The Sox had wasted a good chance when Rios led off the fourth with a double and Ramirez wa

lked. Adam Dunn tapped to the pitche r’s mound into a double play. F l owers struck out to end the inning.

Manager Ozzie Guillen said he will stick with the struggling Dunn — .167, hitless in his four at-bats — until he has a better option.

‘‘Every time the guy comes to the plate, we have a lot of hope,’’ Guillen said before the game. ‘‘I still believe in him. I just told him yesterday, ‘Just worry about the at-bat you have, not the ones you had in the past.’ We need him to get hot.’’

Buehrle lasted six innings and allowed four runs — three earned — and seven hits. Danks said he has no idea what Buehrle will do after the season.

‘‘It’s one of those things where you weigh your options when the time comes,’’ Danks said. ‘‘I know he’s not worried about it right now.’’



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