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Today in White Sox History: May 31

Two huge innings

One of today’s items is about Mark Buehrle (right) in 2007. But you’d rather see a still from a Hawk Harrelson and Buehrle commercial shoot from 2007, right?
| Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images


Joe “The Butcher Boy” Benz, (so named because that’s what he did in the offseason) fired a no-hitter, beating Cleveland 6-1 at Comiskey Park. The lone Naps run, scored in the fourth inning, came out of three consecutive White Sox errors. Benz walked two and struck out three on the day.


White Sox GM Frank Lane made a six-player deal with the Senators that included former All- Star second baseman Cass Michaels (real name Casimir Kwietniewski). The move was important, because it cleared the way for a youngster named Nellie Fox to take over full-time at the position; that year, Fox would play in 130 games and register 497 at-bats.


The torpid White Sox, on their way to the worst single season in franchise history, annihilated the Red Sox in Boston, 22-13. The South Siders banged out 24 hits, with Luis Aparicio and Walt Williams collecting five apiece. Williams scored five times, and Bill Melton knocked in four runs. Chicago had innings where they scored seven, six, four and three runs.

The victim that afternoon? None other than former White Sox star pitcher Gary Peters, who was knocked out of the box in the first inning. It was the second-most runs ever scored in a single game by the White Sox.


In the nightcap of a doubleheader with the Orioles at Comiskey Park, former White Sox infielder Don Buford charged pitcher Bart Johnson with his bat after Johnson drilled him with a pitch that hit him in his behind in the eighth inning. When Buford went out to left field in the last of the eighth inning, Sox fans pelted him with garbage and vocally let him know what they thought of his actions.

Cooler heads prevailed, but in the ninth inning while standing in the on-deck circle lecturing a fan, Buford was attacked from behind by a second fan, who escaped ... onto the field! Buford was alerted by White Sox players yelling from the field, because they could see what was unfolding. Buford knocked the fan out with one punch, then his Oriole teammates charged out of the dugout and did a bloody number on the trespasser before security could lead him away.

Buford was ejected from the game by umpire Nestor Chylak for going to the screen to warn fan in the first place, antagonizing the situation.

The teams split the doubleheader that afternoon.


It was an inauspicious debut for a player who’d make himself into a fine big-league hitter. In a game at Chicago that the Sox won, 10-2, Brian Downing entered the game in the seventh inning to make his big-league debut at third base.

On his first play in the big leagues, in fact on the first pitch, Downing caught a foul pop off the bat of Detroit’s Dick McAuliffe, diving to make the catch. On the play, though, Downing ripped up his knee and was placed on the injured list.

Downing would collect his first big league hit in August, an inside-the-park home run off of Mickey Lolich in Detroit.


Mark Buehrle lost to Toronto, 2-0, giving up solo home runs to Aaron Hill and Frank Thomas. That’s it: No other hits, walks, or Sox errors in the game. Thus the Blue Jays became the first team ever to win a game without a single baserunner.

The White Sox only twice even had runners reach third base, with one, Rob Mackowiak, thrown out at home.

Despite the loss, Buehrle also became the first White Sox pitcher since Joe Horlen in 1967 to throw a no-hitter and a complete game of only two hits or less in the same season.

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