Published November 20, 2014
CHICAGO (AP) — Alex Gonzalez hit the tiebreaking three-run homer in the 12th inning, John Buck went deep twice and the Toronto Blue Jays won their sixth straight, beating the Chicago White Sox 7-4 on Friday night.
Gonzalez's shot off J.J. Putz (0-2) came after Vernon Wells walked with two outs and Lyle Overbay singled. He then drove a 1-2 fastball down the middle about 10 rows deep in left field for his ninth homer.
That made a winner of Scott Downs (1-3), who pitched two scoreless innings on a night when there was no shortage of drama.
Buck, who hit a two-run homer off Mark Buehrle, gave Toronto a 4-3 lead with a solo shot in the ninth off Bobby Jenks. Kevin Gregg, seeking his ninth save in as many chances, gave up a leadoff homer to A.J. Pierzynski in the bottom half that tied it.
Mark Kotsay and former Blue Jay Alex Rios homered for the White Sox.
Both teams got solid performances from their starting pitchers, with Toronto's Shaun Marcum going into the eighth and Chicago's Mark Buehrle finishing eight innings.
The Blue Jays appeared to be in good shape, tying it in the eighth when Buehrle walked Vernon Wells with the bases loaded and then taking the lead on Buck's drive in the ninth. But there was more drama to come.
Pierzynski drove Gregg's first pitch in the bottom half into the right-field seats.
Carlos Quentin then walked and was sacrificed to second before Kotsay — who came into the game with a .137 average — was intentionally walked. Alexei Ramirez forced him with a slow roller toward shortstop, putting runners on the corners, before Juan Pierre popped up a bunt attempt to the mound to end the inning.
The White Sox got a one-out single from Andruw Jones in the 10th, but he was doubled off on Rios' liner to short. They also got a dominant relief effort from Matt Thornton, who came on in the top half and struck out five of the six batters he faced over two innings.
Buck hit a two-run shot off Buehrle in the fifth before Kotsay hit one off Marcum in the bottom half, and Rios then gave Chicago a 3-2 lead with a solo shot in the sixth. That put Buehrle in position for his first win in about a month, but the walk to Wells with the bases loaded in the eighth spoiled his best start since the season opener, when he threw seven scoreless innings against Cleveland.
He allowed three runs and eight hits while tying his longest outing this season after dropping his previous four starts. Still, he's winless since April 11.
Singles by Travis Snider and Freddy Lewis and a one-out walk to Jose Bautista loaded the bases for Wells, who already had two hits. This time, he walked on a 3-1 pitch after White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen visited the mound, tying it at 3.
Marcum allowed six hits. He left with two outs in eighth after Omar Vizqel singled and Gonzalez booted Jones' grounder to short, putting runners on first and second. Shawn Camp came on and retired Rios on a popup to first to end the threat.
Notes: The White Sox kept Paul Konerko out of the lineup for the second straight game because of a sore neck and held out the struggling Gordon Beckham. ... The Blue Jays held OF Adam Lind out of the lineup with the lefty Buehrle starting.