CHICAGO – Things began rather miserably for the Seattle Mariners on most of this cool, wet night and wound up ending that way as well.
Seattle had already lost shortstop Jack Wilson to a third-inning thumb injury and trailed by three runs in the seventh when Jose Lopez suddenly brightened his team’s prospects with a grand slam off onetime teammate J.J. Putz. But the Mariners couldn’t hold their only lead of Friday night’s game and wound up taking a 7-6 loss to the Chicago White Sox when Andruw Jones hit a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth.
Jones got all of a full-count offering from Mark Lowe and lined it over the left-field wall. It was the fourth homer of the game by the White Sox and set off a celebration by the sparse crowd at U.S. Cellular Field.
The White Sox seemed in control most of the night until Lopez delivered. They had already swatted three home runs off Mariners starter Ryan Rowland-Smith, who was victimized by two errors behind him as well, while the Mariners were quick-swinging into easy outs.
Wilson’s injury occurred when a Juan Pierre grounder took a funny hop and nailed him on the thumb. Pierre would later come around to score on a Paul Konerko single, while Wilson headed to the training room for X-rays.
Those X-rays came back negative, showing no bone fractures, but Wilson had the thumb placed in a splint and was to be re-evaluated today.
It was moments after the Mariners received the good news that Lopez went deep.
Rowland-Smith did his part to keep the Mariners close despite allowing the three home runs and numerous base runners to go with his team’s errors. The long balls were all solo blasts by Jones, Carlos Quentin and Paul Konerko in the first, second and sixth innings, respectively.
They would also be the only earned runs allowed by Rowland-Smith. He was still trailing just 4-2 after Konerko’s shot to left-center in the sixth, but would soon give up a key unearned run after Matt Tuiasosopo’s error in the bottom of the sixth.