Sox Coming Off No-Hitter

After getting off to a sluggish start this season, the Chicago White Sox hope Mark Buehrle's effort in their latest outing can provide a spark.

Following Buehrle's no-hitter, the White Sox try to take two of three from the Texas Rangers when they wrap up their series Thursday at U.S. Cellular Field.

Oddsmakers have made Chicago -1.5 point spread favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 9.5 total runs (View MLB Sports Books). Our public betting information shows that 64% of bets for this game have been placed on Chicago -1.5 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Buehrle faced the minimum 27 batters in Wednesday's 6-0 victory over the Rangers, picking off the only batter he walked. It was the team's first no-hitter since Wilson Alvarez threw one at Baltimore on Aug. 11, 1991.

"I can't believe I did it,'' Buehrle said. "Perfect game would have been nice, too.''

Pitching wasn't the only positive for Chicago (6-7) in Wednesday's game, as the offense finally manufactured some runs. The White Sox had scored just two runs in their previous three games before hitting a season-high three homers Wednesday.

Jim Thome hit two home runs to give him five on the season, while Jermaine Dye hit his third of the year.

Thome, whose solo shot provided Chicago's only offense in Tuesday's series-opening 8-1 defeat, has homered in five of his last 10 games against the Rangers. He is also 6-for-8 with a double and three home runs in his last four contests overall.

The White Sox send Javier Vazquez (2-0, 1.50 ERA) to the mound on Thursday, hoping he can take momentum from Buehrle's gem and open a season by winning his first three starts for the first time in his 10-year career.

Vazquez, who allowed two runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 6-4 win over Cleveland on Friday, will try for a better performance against a team that has given him problems in the past.

The right-hander is 2-1 in three career starts against Texas, but with a lofty 6.87 ERA in those outings.

The Rangers (6-8) were no-hit Wednesday for the first time since Toronto's David Cone accomplished the feat June 17, 1995. Sammy Sosa's fifth-inning walk provided their only baserunner.

Sosa, who hit his third home run of the season on Tuesday, is 9-for-27 (.333) with three home runs and five RBIs in his career against Vazquez.

For the series finale, Texas starts Vicente Padilla (0-3, 6.62 ERA), who is trying for his first win of the season.

Padilla has allowed six runs in each of his two road starts this season, including an 8-3 loss at Seattle on Saturday, when he lasted six innings.

"I like the way he's pitching," manager Ron Washington told the team's official Web site. "I don't think there's anything wrong with the way he's pitching. We just have to support him more."

The right-hander is 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA in four career starts against the White Sox.

by: Michael Cash - thespread.com – Email Us

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