MINNEAPOLIS—Mark Buehrle survived a disastrous start and went on to make history Sunday night.
"Pretty impressive," Buehrle quipped after becoming the first pitcher in nearly 106 years to win a game after allowing seven runs in the first inning.
White Sox rallied for a zany 9-7 victory over the Minnesota Twins before a national television audience.
"It's not the best recipe for a win, but Buehrle usually settles down, no matter what happens," first baseman Paul Konerko said.
St. Louis' Jack Powell was the last pitcher to survive a seven-run first and win, beating the Chicago Orphans 10-7 in the first game of a doubleheader on Sept. 29, 1900.
It was a night of redemption for the Sox, who maintained their half-game lead over Detroit in the American League Central by snapping a three-game losing streak.
The defense, which compounded problems for Buehrle with two first-inning errors, came through with a sixth-inning triple play.
The bullpen, which had allowed four runs in five innings in the first two games of this series, blanked the Twins' offense over the final three innings.
And with the help of scouting analyst Mike Gellinger, Buehrle altered his delivery slightly to prevent him from tipping pitches, which he believed led to the seven hits in the first.
Buehrle didn't allow a run over the next five innings. That allowed the Sox to mount a furious comeback that featured a five-run fourth.
"The one thing we felt was that we were going to score some runs," Konerko said of the 13-hit attack that featured home runs by Jermaine Dye, Jim Thome and A.J. Pierzynski.
The play that typified the Sox's turnaround occurred in the sixth. Buehrle, trying to protect a 9-7 lead, allowed a bunt single to Nick Punto and a walk to Shannon Stewart.
Luis Castillo attempted a bunt but popped it into the air. First baseman Konerko charged to catch the ball near his shoelaces. Both baserunners took off, and Konerko threw to first to Tadahito Iguchi for the second out, and Iguchi threw to second to complete the Sox's first triple play since July 7, 2004, against Anaheim.
"[Castillo] pulled up as I was running, and that might have made the runners go, maybe thinking that I'd conceded the ball dropping," Konerko said.
Dye ignited the offense with a three-run homer in the first for his 200th career blast. Thome, who was robbed of a homer in his first at-bat by Torii Hunter, poked his 15th homer to left in the third to cut the deficit to 7-4 and snap an 0-for-12 slump.
Pierzynski started the five-run rally in the fourth with his first homer of the season. Scott Podsednik tied the game with a two-run triple and scored the go-ahead run on one of two Twins errors in the inning.
Buehrle committed a throwing error on a potential double play that fueled the Twins' first-inning rally. Only one of the runs he allowed was earned, so his ERA actually dropped from 3.66 to 3.42.
For the first time this season, closer Bobby Jenks entered in the eighth. He pitched 11/3 innings to earn his 11th save. Jenks induced Castillo to hit a weak grounder for the final out of the eighth, then struck out three in the ninth.
Manager Ozzie Guillen was relieved after the victory but saw room for improvement.
"That was kind of embarrassing to be on national TV and play like that," Guillen said. "Minnesota and the White Sox are known for defense and pitching."