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 is 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.
White Sox starter Gavin Floyd had retired nine in a row by the seventh inning and looked to be cruising toward the win.
But then a leadoff single by Adam Moore was followed by a one-out bunt single by Ichiro and a walk drawn by Chone Figgins to load the bases. Putz came on, making his first appearance against a Mariners club that dealt him away in a 12-player trade with the New York Mets and Cleveland Indians in December 2008.
Putz got Franklin Gutierrez to line out to second base. But Lopez then cranked a pitch 377 feet just over the wall in left-center.
Lopez’s first grand slam of his career gave the M’s their first lead. But with Seattle ahead 6-5, the Mariners went with reliever Sean White to start the bottom of the seventh and he gave up two singles. After a double play and intentional walk Brandon League relieved and gave up the tying hit to Alex Rios.
Mariners outfielder Milton Bradley was back in Chicago and although he was out of the lineup with a sore calf, Bradley met with the Chicago media before the game for the first time since his 2009 season ended when the Cubs suspended Bradley after a verbal altercation with their hitting coach, and after he criticized the atmosphere of the organization.
Bradley told a Chicago TV station that he felt misrepresented by the media.
“As a black man playing this game, I just don’t feel like … you know, the majority of the media is middle-aged white guys, so I don’t think you can accurately construe what I have to say, or portray me as who I am, because you don’t know,” Bradley told Chicago Comcast Sportsnet.
White Sox 7, Mariners 6
|Griffey Jr. dh||4||0||0||1||0||1||.238|
E—J.Wilson (3), Tuiasosopo (2), J.Nix (1). LOB—Seattle 5, Chicago 6. 2B—Figgins (4), Byrnes (2), Rios (4), Al.Ramirez (3). 3B—F.Gutierrez (2). HR—Jo.Lopez (1), off Putz; An.Jones (5), off Rowland-Smith; Quentin (3), off Rowland-Smith; Konerko (6), off Rowland-Smith; An.Jones (6), off M.Lowe. RBIs—Figgins (5), Jo.Lopez 4 (8), Griffey Jr. (4), An.Jones 2 (9), Konerko 2 (12), Rios (7), Quentin (12), Lucy (2). SB—Byrnes (1), Pierre (8), An.Jones (3), Lucy (1). RLISP—Seattle 4 (Jo.Lopez, Moore, Kotchman, I.Suzuki); Chicago 4 (Rios, J.Nix, Quentin 2). RMU—Moore, Beckham. GIDP—An.Jones, Rios. DP—Seattle 2 (J.Wilson, Figgins, Kotchman), (Jo.Lopez, Kotchman).
|White H, 2||2/3||2||1||1||1||0||1.35|
|League BS, 3-3||1 1/3||1||0||0||0||1||2.00|
|M.Lowe L, 1-2||2/3||1||1||1||0||0||4.26|
|Putz BS, 1-1||1/3||1||1||1||0||0||4.05|
|Thornton W, 2-1||2 1/3||0||0||0||0||5||1.74|
IR-S—Texeira 2-1, League 2-1, Putz 3-3. IBB—off White (Konerko). HBP—by Rowland-Smith (Lucy). T—2:57. A—24,653 (40,615).