SEATTLE – Never in Mariners history had one run taken so long – and felt so good.
Pinch-hitter Ken Griffey Jr. lined a single off the right-field wall with two outs in the bottom of the 14th to give the Mariners a 1-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night and end the longest scoreless game in Seattle’s 33-year history.
After the second seventh-inning stretch of the night, Adrian Beltre, eight days removed from the disabled list following shoulder surgery, singled with one out in the 14th. Tony Pena (6-4) struck out Russell Branyan but walked Jack Hannahan, who was playing because shortstop Jack Wilson strained his hamstring in the third inning.
Up came Griffey, a member of the White Sox in 2008, thrilling the many who remained from an original crowd of 24,427.
Junior rekindled his Seattle magic of the 1990s by lining a 1-2 pitch into the corner. The 39-year-old slugger, who returned to Seattle this season with a one-year contract, triumphantly raised his right arm as he rounded first base – and then ran into right field as his teammates chased him in celebration.
Griffey’s other pinch hit this season was also against a Tony Pena, of Arizona. That was a two-run homer that tied a game Seattle eventually won.
Chicago’s Mark Kotsay singled with one out in the top of the 14th off Chris Jakubauskas (6-7). Seattle’s long reliever then walked No. 9 hitter Jason Nix on 11 pitches but struck out Scott Podsednik and Gordon Beckham to end the inning.
Mark Buehrle allowed six hits in eight innings, his best start since his perfect game against Tampa Bay three weeks ago.
The White Sox couldn’t break through against Felix Hernandez and four relievers.
Seattle’s 23-year-old ace struck out a season high-tying 10 and continually escaped trouble in his seven innings. It was his fourth scoreless start of his All-Star season.
Mariners 1, White Sox 0 (14)
|Griffey Jr. ph||1||0||1||1||0||0||.226|
E—Al.Ramirez (14), Beltre (11). LOB—Chicago 14, Seattle 11. 2B—Kotsay (5), I.Suzuki (23), Branyan (21). RBIs—Griffey Jr. (38). SB—Beckham (5), F.Gutierrez (8). S—Podsednik, Al.Ramirez, Langerhans. RLSP—Chicago 9 (J.Nix 4, Quentin 3, Beckham 2); Seattle 7 (F.Gutierrez, Hannahan 2, M.Sweeney 2, Ro.Johnson, Jo.Lopez). RMU—Kotsay. GIDP—Beckham. DP—Chicago 1 (Kotsay); Seattle 2 (I.Suzuki, I.Suzuki, Ro.Johnson), (F.Hernandez, Jo.Lopez, Branyan).
IBB—off Buehrle (I.Suzuki). WP—F.Hernandez, Kelley. PB—Ro.Johnson 2. T—3:52. A—24,427 (47,878).