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Home cooking burns Mariners

Sat., Aug. 27, 2011

Seattle-area product Lillibridge delivers for ChiSox

SEATTLE – While Paul Konerko is limited to DH duty for the Chicago White Sox because of a leg injury, former Jackson High School star Brent Lillibridge has been his replacement at first base much of the past month.

Friday night at Safeco Field, Lillibridge made like the power-hitting Konerko and won a game with his bat. His two-run home run in the fifth inning broke a 2-2 tie and gave the White Sox a 4-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

The 27-year-old Lillibridge, in his first full major league season, has been on a bit of a home-run tear this month. He has hit five of his 12 home runs this season in the past 15 games after going without a homer from June 4 through Aug. 5.

The Mariners had just tied the score with a run in the bottom of the fourth when Lillibridge batted with Juan Pierre on first base and nobody out in the fifth.

On the third pitch he saw in the at-bat from Mariners left-hander Charlie Furbush, Lillibridge drove a 1-1 fastball well over the left-center-field fence and into the Mariners’ bullpen. It measured 419 feet.

“I was just trying to get on base and he left the ball right over the middle,” said Lillibridge, who went 1 for 5 and struck out three times. “I feel like it was one of the only pitches I got to hit today and I was able to hit it hard, and over the fence again.”

As Lillibridge crossed home plate, several of his family and friends cheered amid an otherwise quiet crowd.

“It was big. It was exciting,” he said. “All my family and friends get to see it and stuff. It was fun. You grow up watching games here, 20 games a year, every year as a fan of the Mariners and I’m able to hit one here out of the park against my favorite team. It’s something special. I won’t forget it.”

The Mariners managed 10 hits off White Sox starter Jake Peavy and three relievers, but never the one big swing that could end their frustration.

Miguel Olivo homered to lead off the bottom of the second inning and Trayvon Robinson blooped an RBI single in the fourth to tie the score at 2.

But after that, the Mariners did little but put runners on base and leave them there.

Ichiro Suzuki and Franklin Gutierrez grounded into outs to end the fourth with two runners on. The Mariners wasted Dustin Ackley’s leadoff single in the fifth and also left the bases loaded in seventh.

After Ichiro’s leadoff single in the ninth, Chris Sale retired the next three to end the game.

The Mariners left 11 runners on base and went 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

Furbush, starting his sixth game since the Mariners acquired him in a July 30 trade from the Tigers, struggled throughout his five innings but minimized the damage until Lillibridge’s home run.

“He had real good stuff,” manager Eric Wedge said of Furbush, who’s 2-3 with a 6.48 ERA with the M’s.

Ichiro went 2 for 5, bumping his average two points to .273. He needs 52 hits in the final 32 games to reach the 200-hit mark for the 11th straight season.

Chicago AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Pierre lf 4 2 2 0 0 0 .286
Lillibridge 1b 5 1 1 2 0 3 .261
Konerko dh 3 1 0 0 2 0 .312
Rios cf 5 0 2 1 0 1 .214
Al.Ramirez ss 4 0 1 1 0 0 .261
Flowers c 4 0 1 0 0 1 .286
De Aza rf 4 0 0 0 0 2 .297
Morel 3b 3 0 1 0 1 1 .257
Beckham 2b 3 0 0 0 1 0 .234
Totals 35 4 8 4 4 8
Seattle AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
I.Suzuki rf 5 0 2 0 0 1 .273
F.Gutierrez cf 4 0 2 0 1 1 .226
Ackley 2b 4 0 1 0 1 1 .288
Carp 1b 4 0 1 0 1 2 .299
Olivo c 3 1 1 1 1 2 .219
Seager 3b 4 1 1 0 0 1 .310
W.Pena dh 4 0 0 0 0 3 .250
Ryan ss 4 0 1 0 0 2 .261
Robinson lf 4 0 1 1 0 2 .300
Totals 36 2 10 2 4 15
Chicago 200 020 000—4 8 0
Seattle 010 100 000—2 10 1

E—Robinson (3). LOB—Chicago 9, Seattle 11. 2B—Rios (22), Seager (6). HR—Lillibridge (12), Olivo (16). RBIs—Lillibridge 2 (26), Rios (32), Al.Ramirez (54), Olivo (53), Robinson (8). SB—Pierre (22), I.Suzuki (33). CS—Flowers (1). S—Pierre. RLISP—Chicago 6, Seattle 7. GIDP—Carp. DP—Chicago 1.

Chicago IP H R ER BB SO ERA
Peavy W, 6-6 6 7 2 2 3 8 4.93
Thornton H, 16 2/3 2 0 0 0 2 3.33
Crain H, 16 11/3 0 0 0 1 3 2.30
Sale S, 5-6 1 1 0 0 0 2 2.61
Seattle IP H R ER BB SO ERA
Furbush L, 3-6 5 6 4 4 2 4 4.87
Wilhelmsen 2 1 0 0 1 3 4.29
Gray 2 1 0 0 1 1 3.60

IR-S—Crain 2-0. PB—Olivo. T—3:06. A—28,621 (47,878).


 

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