CHICAGO – Not even a six-run ninth inning could keep Seattle’s winning streak alive.
After the Mariners erased a 7-2 deficit in the top of the ninth, Paul Konerko’s single with one out in the bottom half – his third hit of the game – gave the Chicago White Sox a dramatic 9-8 victory Friday night.
The Chicago bullpen imploded before the offense rallied for two runs in the bottom half to snap Seattle’s eight-game winning streak.
“It was a great comeback by our guys, that’s what I’m thinking about right now,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. “It was an emotional last inning. Obviously went back and forth, but to come back down five runs and score six against a good team like we’re playing, it says a lot about our guys and how far they’ve come.”
Kevin Youkilis singled to drive in the tying run off Tom Wilhelmsen (4-3), and Konerko lined a gapper to the opposite field. Right fielder Eric Thames appeared to briefly catch the ball before he collided with center fielder Michael Saunders near the wall. The ball catapulted from Thames’ glove, and Dewayne Wise scored from second base.
“It’s tough because it was so loud and communication (was hard),” Thames said. “I had a pretty good bead on it. I looked up and I saw (Saunders) running and I went for it and I caught it, but my elbow hit him and it was a pretty bad collision. I caught it, spun around and the ball (went flying).
“It’s rough because we put up that six-spot in the ninth inning. Our dugout erupted when Saunders scored.”
Addison Reed (3-1) earned the win despite blowing his fourth save.
Jesus Montero homered off Phil Humber leading off the ninth. After a one-out walk, Humber was relieved by Donnie Veal, who allowed a double to Trayvon Robinson.
Reed was summoned and promptly walked Brendan Ryan to load the bases. Dustin Ackley followed with a two-run single, Saunders walked, and Kyle Seager hit a sacrifice fly. John Jaso tied the game with a single over second baseman Gordon Beckham’s head.
Saunders then scored the go-ahead run on an errant throw by right fielder Alex Rios to give Seattle the 8-7 lead.
Seattle has dropped 22 of its last 26 games against the White Sox, spanning the last three seasons.
Adam Dunn hit two home runs to increase his major league-leading total to 38, and Alexei Ramirez homered and drove in three runs for the White Sox.
Dunn hit a solo homer in the first inning and a two-run shot in the third off Seattle starter Jason Vargas. It was Dunn’s third multihomer run game this season and the 33rd of his career.
Ramirez went deep in the fourth inning to give the White Sox a 6-2 lead.
“They just didn’t miss a mistake,” Vargas said.
Ackley jumped on Peavy immediately with a first-pitch double leading off the game and came around to score on Saunders’ RBI single.
Robinson hit a solo home run in the second inning. The shot to dead center field was his first of the season, but Peavy put up zeros the next five innings to help send the Mariners to just their second loss in 12 contests.
Robinson and Ackley had three hits apiece and Ackley drove in two runs.
Peavy was charged with two runs and seven hits over seven innings.
Vargas lasted just four innings, his shortest outing of the season. He allowed six runs and seven hits – including three home runs. He was 6-1 with a 1.95 ERA over his previous 10 starts.
Seattle will send right-hander Blake Beavan (8-7, 5.00 ERA) today against White Sox lefty Jose Quintana (5-2, 2.76) in a 4:10 p.m. (PDT) game that will be televised on Root Sports and broadcast on 710-AM.