SEATTLE — John Danks combined with two relievers on a two-hitter and Alexei Ramirez homered, helping the Chicago White Sox beat the woeful Seattle Mariners 4-0 on Tuesday.
Danks (10-7) allowed Casey Kotchman’s infield single in the second and Ichiro Suzuki’s two-out single in the eighth on his final pitch of the night. He struck out eight and walked four, then got a dugout bear hug from manager Ozzie Guillen as Chicago increased its lead in the AL Central to a season-high 31/2 games over Detroit and Minnesota.
J.J. Putz got the final out of the eighth and Bobby Jenks pitched a perfect ninth in his first appearance since he failed to record an out on Sunday, when he was charged with four runs in a loss at Minnesota.
Even with hot-hitting slugger Carlos Quentin resting his bruised right hand, the White Sox have added two games to their lead in two nights following a three-game skid. The potentially crushing loss Sunday against the Twins, in which they blew a three-run lead in the ninth, is already a distant memory thanks to this get-well trip to Seattle.
The White Sox are baseball-best 28-8 since June 9.
The Mariners lost for the 14th time in 17 games and plummeted to a season-low 22 games under .500.
Chicago went in front in the fourth. Alex Rios drew a leadoff walk against Doug Fister (3-6), advanced to third on Paul Konerko’s double and scored on Mark Kotsay’s groundout.
The game was essentially over when Juan Pierre doubled home Ramirez with one out into the fifth, making it 2-0.
Seattle has scored two runs or less 44 times in 94 games this season. The Mariners managed just one run in Monday’s loss.
Danks dominated — and the Mariners disintegrated — from there.
The left-hander has sandwiched a two-hit shutout and Tuesday’s work around allowing six runs in a wild win last week at Minnesota.
Seattle, meanwhile, watched Jose Lopez shuffle down the line on a hard smash that Omar Vizquel snared. The soft, looping throw across the diamond beat Lopez by multiple steps.
“You still got it, Omar! You still got it!” a vendor in the low box seats yelled to the 43-year-old former Mariner as Vizquel returned to the dugout.
Then with one out in the seventh, Kotchman hit a soft, broken bat liner that shortstop Ramirez easily caught. Ramirez seemed surprised to see Milton Bradley had run to second base. Bradley was standing on second as Ramirez threw to first for the inexplicable double play. The inning abruptly ended, the home crowd of 21,366 booed and Bradley tossed his batting helmet across the infield.
How sad is it in Seattle? The fans’ only excitement and roar came when a young man ran onto the field before the bottom of the ninth inning. Security tackled the guy in short left field. A sheriff’s deputy quickly handcuffed him and escorted him through the outfield and out of a gate — to more roars.