The White Sox got a rough start to their 11-game homestand Monday night in a 6-3 loss to their foes from last year’s ALCS. Although the Los Angeles Angels deserve credit for their great hitting and a solid performance on the mound by starter Kelvim Escobar, they have Sox pitcher Mark Buerhle to thank for their win as much as anyone else.


“It’s very gratifying to be a key contributor in a winning effort,” Buerhle said. “I haven’t felt like a winner since June.”


Buehrle dropped his sixth-straight decision, giving up three home runs. He also committed a clutch balk for the Angels in the seventh after loading the bases to initiate a three-run burst from the Halos.


With two outs, Buerhle started to attempt a throw to pick off Molina at first, even though Paul Konerko was nowhere near the base. He held onto it, which resulted in the balk and brought in an Angels baserunner. A subsequent single from Chone Figgins drove in another pair, and Sox manager Ozzie Guillen brought out the hook.


Buerhle started strong in 2006, going 9-4 with a 3.22 ERA through June, but since July 1 has lost more games (six) and chalked up a higher ERA (9.61) that any other pitcher in the Majors. He’s also the only Sox starter with a record below .500. He attributed this collapse to his all-or-nothing approach to performance.


“You gotta go big or go home, you know?” he said. “If I’m gonna suck, then I’m gonna suck hard.”


Number of the night: 0

Times Angels fans needed to wave their Rally Monkeys in last night’s game.

heckler editorial staff