Sports

Mariners hit four homers to break Chicago’s winning streak

CHICAGO – After 12 innings and 4 hours, 16 minutes of baseball that featured 16 pitchers and eight homers, the Mariners finally ended Chicago’s nine-game winning streak.

“This is one of those long games. It definitely makes it a lot better getting the win than the loss,” said John Jaso, who doubled home the tiebreaking run in the 12th to help Seattle beat the White Sox 10-8 Saturday.

“They’re a hot team. They showed it throughout today’s game and yesterday’s game – we get the lead and they come right back,” Jaso said. “That’s what a hot team does. It’s a good victory for us.”

Ichiro Suzuki homered twice and Seattle’s bullpen shut out the White Sox over the final four innings to end Chicago’s longest winning streak since July 2010.

Tom Wilhelmsen (2-1) pitched three scoreless innings, allowing one hit, for the victory. Hisashi Iwakuma earned his second save by pitching the 12th, retiring Adam Dunn on a grounder with a runner on second to end it.

“Our bullpen came in and shut the door, and we were hitting one through nine,” said Michael Saunders, who homered and had four hits.

On Friday night, Saunders dropped a fly ball in the eighth inning that led to three unearned runs and helped the White Sox to a 7-4 win. He was able to make up for it Saturday.

Jesus Montero led off the 10th with a double against Addison Reed (0-1). One out later, Jaso drove in pinch-runner Munenori Kawasaki. Chone Figgins followed with an RBI single.

Chicago’s Dayan Viciedo tied the game with a two-out solo homer in the eighth off Stephen Pryor – the eighth home run of the game, four by each team.

“We did the right things, they just had a little more today. We had a chance to win it and just couldn’t get it done,” said Chicago’s Gordon Beckham, who homered and finished with four RBIs.

The White Sox used nine pitchers – their bullpen was depleted by the end of the day – in an effort to keep their winning streak intact.

“It was unbelievable,” Beckham said. “It was a long day. We used everybody. You hate to lose but when you don’t have anybody else in the bullpen, it’s one of those things. It is what it is.”

The Mariners had rallied with three runs in the eighth off Jesse Crain for an 8-7 lead on Brendan Ryan’s two-run double and an error on catcher A.J. Pierzynski, when his throw attempting to nab a stealing Ryan skipped past third and into left field.

Ichiro, just moved back to the leadoff spot Friday, hit two solo homers on a breezy, 73-degree day at U.S. Cellular Field.

In addition to Ichiro and Saunders, Justin Smoak also homered off Chicago starter Gavin Floyd.

Pierzynski and Alex Rios also homered for first-place Chicago.

Beckham, who had a pair of homers in Friday night’s series opener, hit a two-run shot to finish Seattle starter Hector Noesi after 4 1/3 innings and give the White Sox their first lead at 6-5. Beckham added an RBI infield single in the seventh for a two-run cushion.

Now that the streak is over, Chicago’s goal is to keep playing the same brand of baseball.

“It has been nice. We’ve done a lot of good things. We plan on continuing,” first-year manager Robin Ventura said.

“You can’t win every game, but you know we are in every game, so that’s the good news. We plan on being in games from here on out, too.”

Ichiro homered to start the game, the 37th leadoff homer of his career. Smoak led off the second with another shot and then Ichiro homered again leading off the third – the sixth multihomer game of his career.

Saunders hit Seattle’s fourth homer of the game off Floyd, a two-run shot that made it 5-3 in the fourth.

Noesi allowed seven hits and six runs in his brief appearance. Floyd yielded nine hits and five runs in five-plus innings.



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