CHICAGO | Mark Buehrle pitched the first perfect game in the major leagues in five years, leading the Chicago White Sox over the Tampa Bay Rays 5-0 on Thursday.
Buehrle (11-3) got a great catch from center fielder DeWayne Wise leading off the ninth inning to save the bid — and the shutout. 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 and, on a dead run, jumped and got his glove above the fence to rob Kapler of a home run.
The ball almost came out when Wise caromed off the fence, but he held onto it, displaying it 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 fans chanting Buehrle's name, Jason Bartlett grounded to shortstop. Buehrle was mobbed by teammates between the mound and first base.
"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," he said.
Buehrle pitched his second no-hitter. In a 6-0 win over Texas on April 18, 2007, he also faced the minimum 27 batters. He walked Sammy Sosa on a 3-1 pitch with one out in the fifth inning, then picked him off two pitches later.
"I threw a no-hitter, I was surprised as I could be when I threw that," he said. "I don't know what to say. Unbelievable."
It was the 18th perfect game in major league history, the 16th since the modern era began in 1900 and the first since Arizona's Randy Johnson against Atlanta on May 18, 2004.