There was plenty of traffic on the basepaths Saturday night.
But Mark Buehrle topped Barry Zito when it came to escaping jams, particularly in avoiding the big innings that have inflated Buehrle's earned-run average.
Buehrle pitched 62/3 innings of one-run ball to win for the first time since April 6 as the Sox plodded their way to a 3-1 victory over the Giants.
Buehrle was aided by three double plays but did an exceptional job of harnessing the San Francisco offense. His effort was remarkable considering the offense minimized several scoring opportunities against Zito, who fell to 0-8 despite limiting the Sox to two runs.
"I got into a couple jams and pitched out of them," said Buehrle, who also hit a single off the right-field wall in the seventh. "The defense made some good plays behind me. They scored enough runs, and I got the 'W.' "
Zito was pulled after 116 pitches in five innings. The Sox scored their first two runs on sacrifice flies by Carlos Quentin and Orlando Cabrera in the first two innings but stranded 11 runners against Zito.
"That's the ugliest two-run game I've seen in my life," Guillen laughed. "Zito was all over the place, but when he had to make the big pitch, he did. It looked ugly, but he got it done."
The victory by Buehrle (2-5) means four of the Sox's five starters have won at least one game on this 10-game trip that ends Sunday. John Danks, who threw 61/3 scoreless innings Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels but left with no decision, will try to pitch the Sox to a sweep of this three-game series and extend their winning streak to five games.
In snapping a five-game losing streak, Buehrle moved into 10th place on the Sox's all-time victories list with 109.
He didn't allow two hits in an inning until the seventh, when Aaron Rowand led off with a double and moved to third on Jose Castillo's infield single.
Buehrle, however, came back to strike out Dan Ortmeier before walking pinch-hitter Steve Holm to load the bases.
Guillen selected Octavio Dotel to pitch to switch-hitter Randy Winn because Winn was batting .271 from the left side and .359 from the right side. Dotel struck out Winn on a 94-m.p.h. fastball to end the threat.
"In the past, when we don't make the plays around him, [Buehrle] gets himself in trouble," Guillen said. "When we make the plays and help him, he's going to (pitch) like that."
In the eighth, Scott Linebrink allowed a hit to Bengie Molina but struck out two.
Bobby Jenks pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 10th save.
Toby Hall, getting a start at catcher, had three of the Sox's 12 hits.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun