MINNEAPOLIS — Chicago White Sox ace Mark Buehrle set a major league record by retiring 45 straight batters.
Coming off a perfect game in his last start against Tampa Bay, Buehrle retired the first 17 Minnesota Twins batters on Tuesday night to surpass the record of 41 straight set by and San Francisco's Jim Barr in 1972 and tied by teammate Bobby Jenks, a reliever, in 2007.
Buehrle retired 27 in a row against the Rays in his last start, the 18th perfect game in baseball history, then breezed through the first five innings against the Twins to break the record.
His bid for a second consecutive perfect game – no pitcher in baseball history has ever achieved the feat – ended with a walk to Alexi Casilla on a close call with two outs in the sixth. The Metrodome crowd stood and cheered after the walk, trying to rattle Buehrle. Then Denard Span followed with a single to break up the no-hitter.
The Twins flashed the record on the main scoreboard.
On the record-breaking play, Buehrle got former teammate Joe Crede to hit a soft grounder to Alexei Ramirez at shortstop. He smiled after Paul Konerko made a nifty scoop of a low throw at first base for the second out of the inning. The ball was thrown into the White Sox dugout as a keepsake.
Buehrle then got Brendan Harris to groundout to shortstop to end the fifth inning and keep his perfect game going.
The performance comes against a Twins team that he has had difficulty with in the past. His 23 career victories against the Twins are his most against any opponent. But four hitters in the lineup on Tuesday night had career averages of .316 or better against the lefty.