April 28, 2009

M’s drop first game of doubleheader

Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Seattle Mariners’ Yuniesky Betancourt flips his bat after striking out during the seventh inning against the Chicago White Sox in the first game of a doubleheader Tuesday, April 28, 2009, in Chicago. The White Sox won 2-1.
(Full-size photo)

CHICAGO — Bartolo Colon pitched seven strong innings and Paul Konerko hit a two-run double, leading the Chicago White Sox to a brisk 2-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners in the first game of a doubleheader Tuesday.

Colon bounced back after struggling in his previous start at Baltimore. The burly right-hander allowed only an unearned run and four hits, pitching out of a jam in the seventh. He struck out six and walked one in a game that took just 1 hour, 52 minutes — the fastest in the majors this season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Chris Jakubauskas (1-3) was the hard-luck loser in his first career complete game, a two-hitter. He retired the side in order every inning except the fourth, walking one and striking out four in eight innings.

White Sox reliever Matt Thornton pitched a perfect eighth and former Spirit Lake player Bobby Jenks a scoreless ninth for his fourth save. With runners on first and second, he struck out pinch-hitter Mike Sweeney swinging and got pinch-hitter Wladimir Balentien on a fly to center.

The game was a makeup of Monday night’s rainout. Seattle right-hander Felix Hernandez was scheduled to face John Danks in the nightcap.

In his previous outing, Colon (2-1) allowed five runs and eight hits in three innings of Thursday’s 6-2 loss at Baltimore. It was his shortest start since July 23, 2007.

Colon cruised through the first six innings, but ran into trouble in the seventh. After a one-out walk to Russell Branyan, Jose Lopez reached safely on an error by second baseman Brent Lillibridge.

Rob Johnson followed with an RBI double, but Colon minimized the damage. Franklin Gutierrez fouled out and so did Yuniesky Betancourt — after just missing a three-run homer down the left-field line.

Jakubauskas, making his third start in place of injured Ryan Rowland-Smith, retired his first 10 batters. He walked Josh Fields in the fourth, then allowed a single to Carlos Quentin. With two outs, Konerko doubled down the left-field line, scoring Fields and Quentin.

Ken Griffey Jr. returned to Chicago after playing 41 games for the White Sox last season and finished 1 for 4 with a double. He had three home runs and 18 RBIs in 41 games while helping Chicago win the AL Central title last year.

Notes: DH Jim Thome (sore heel) didn’t play. Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen hopes to have Thome back when the White Sox open a three-game series in Texas on Friday. … 2B Chris Getz (broken middle finger on his right hand) took some batting practice before the game and said it went fine. Getz said the swelling had gone down and he hopes to play Wednesday. He has missed three consecutive games. … Mariners C Kenji Johjima, on the 15-day disabled list since April 16 with a strained right hamstring, could return on May 1 when he’s eligible. Currently rehabbing in extended spring training in Arizona, Johjima did some catching and running on Monday and reported no problems.

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