(SportsNetwork.com) - The first half of the season was very kind to Mark Buehrle, but the second half has been a different story.
Buehrle takes the mound for the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday in an attempt to win his second game since the All-Star break as he battles the Chicago White Sox.
The matchup is the second in a three-game series with the White Sox, who send out John Danks to counter Buehrle.
The veteran lefty enters the game for Toronto with an 11-8 record and a 3.31 earned run average. Not known for being a strikeout machine, Buehrle has registered 89 K's to 40 walks this season.
Since June 29, Buehrle has made eight starts and has picked up just one win. His most recent outing was a short one - 3 1/2 innings pitched against Detroit in which he surrendered nine hits, five runs (two earned) and struck out four. His Blue Jays managed to hang on for the 6-5 win after Buehrle was chased in the fourth. He was tagged with a no-decision.
Buehrle has made two career starts against his former team, and has a 1-1 record to show for it. In 14 1/3 innings pitched against Chicago, he's given up four runs (2.51 ERA) and struck out eight.
Danks enters the fray with a 9-8 record on the season and a 4.96 ERA. He's struck out exactly 100 batters, but is looking for his first victory since late July.
The 29-year-old lefty has picked up losses in each of his last two starts, which have been rather dismal. On Aug. 5, Danks allowed Texas to score nine runs in the 4 2/3 innings he spent on the mound. His most recent start - against Seattle - saw him last 6 1/3 innings with four earned runs on eight hits in a 4-2 Mariners victory.
Danks has been about average pitching at home this season. In 11 starts, he's racked up a 4-3 record with a 4.46 ERA. Against the Blue Jays in his career, Danks is 2-4 with a more miserable 5.89 ERA.
The White Sox laid it on thick against the visiting Blue Jays Friday night in an 11-5 thumping of the AL East challengers. Adam Lind drove home a Toronto run in the top of the first inning, but that was as much hope as Chicago would allow in the contest.
It was an offensive outpouring from the White Sox, who didn't have a single player hit a long ball. Jose Abreu, who entered the night leading the American League in both home runs and runs batted in, added three more RBI to his season resume. He went 3-for-5 at the plate and added two runs scored. Both Adam Dunn and Dayan Viciedo notched two RBI in the one-sided win.
"I think you're looking at the professional side of his hitting," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Abreu's hitting. "I think everybody goes through a stretch where you don't quite have that feeling to hit homers."
Melky Cabrera homered and drove in two runs on the night for the Jays, who have lost four games in a row.
The White Sox took three of four against the Blue Jays late in June.