Mark Buehrle pitched the first perfect game in the major leagues for five years in leading the Chicago White Sox to a 5-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. Buehrle (11-3) got a great catch from centre fielder DeWayne Wise leading off the ninth inning to save the bid - and the shut-out. Wise entered at the start of the inning as a defensive replacement and when Gabe Kapler led off with a drive to deep left-center, Wise sprinted, jumped and got his glove above the fence to rob Kapler of a home run.
The ball almost came out when Wise bounced off the fence, stumbled, fell to the ground and rolled. But he stood, proudly displaying the ball for the crowd in his bare left hand. "I was hoping it was staying in there, give him enough room to catch it. I know the guys were doing everything they could to save the no-hitter, the perfect game, whatever it might be," Buehrle said. Michel Hernandez then struck out, and with the 28,036 fans chanting Buehrle's name, Jason Bartlett grounded to shortstop, and Buehrle was mobbed by teammates.
"I don't know if it's really sunk in yet. We have a short flight to Detroit. I'm sure it will be a little hectic later," said Buehrle. The pitcher had already received a congratulatory telephone call from President Barack Obama - a White Sox fan - following the 16th perfect game in MLB history since the modern era began in 1900 and the first since Arizona's Randy Johnson against Atlanta on May 18, 2004.
Buehrle backed by Josh Fields's second-inning grand slam, threw 76 of 116 pitches for strikes and struck out six in his second career no-hitter. "I bought everyone watches after the last one. That was an expensive no-hitter," he said. * AP