Another game-ending HR dooms Mariners
CHICAGO (AP) - Alex Rios hit a game-ending two-run homer in the ninth after Paul Konerko homered, and the Chicago White Sox overcame a controversial call that led to two runs in the in the top half of the inning to beat the Seattle Mariners 5-4 on Saturday.
Trailing 4-2 in the ninth with one out, Konerko hit a solo home run off Mariners closer David Aardsma (0-1). With two outs, Carlos Quentin walked, then a day after Andruw Jones hit a game-ending home run, Rios hit a 1-1 pitch in the left-field bleachers to win the game.
"Who cares about Konerko, he hits a home run, he can hit it out of the stadium. I don't even care. It's a two-run ballgame. They have to get another one. That walk, that's the out I gotta get," Aardsma said. "I gave up three runs. That's all I'm thinking about."
In the top of the inning, Casey Kotchman hit a two-run ground-rule double to give the Mariners a two-run lead.
With two outs in the eighth inning, Jose Lopez singled off White Sox closer and former Prairie American Legion standout Bobby Jenks. After a walk to Ken Griffey Jr., Kotchman then lined a double down the right-field line and a fan picked up the ball and dropped it back on the field.
First base umpire Gary Cederstrom declared the play dead as Lopez scored from second, but the umpiring crew allowed Jack Wilson, who was pinch running for Griffey, to score from first to give Seattle a 4-2 lead.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen argued with third base umpire Fieldin Culbreth and was ejected.
Jenks (1-0) got his first win after pitching the ninth.
Mariners starter Doug Fister allowed two runs while scattering eight hits. He struck out four and walked one.
Franklin Gutierez homered for the Mariners, who lost their second straight game.
"Aardsma had 16 straight saves going into today. You expect to win that ballgame," Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu. "He got some pitches up in the zone but he's been awfully consistent for us. He left some pitches up and got hurt."
With two outs in the fifth, Rios singled off Fister. After Rios stole second, Mark Teahen hit a single to right. With Ichiro Suzuki's strong arm in right, Rios was held up at third base. Ramirez followed with a long fly to left. Seattle outfielder Eric Byrnes propped up against the wall and the ball deflected off his mitt. The ball bounced off the top of fence and came back into the playing field.
Rios scored and Teahen scored from first to give the White Sox a 2-1 lead. Ramirez wound up at second base with his third double of the season.
Guillen briefly questioned the call, but went back to the dugout after he got an explanation from Culbreth and no replay was necessary.
The Mariners came back in the seventh inning on Lopez's double off Freddy Garcia.
Garcia pitched seven innings and allowed two runs and two hits.
The White Sox pushed Garcia back two extra days after only lasting one inning in a loss to Cleveland on April 18. He allowed seven runs on six hits in that one.
After retiring the first 11 batters he faced, Garcia was tagged by Gutierrez with a home run to left-center in the fourth. It was Gutierrez's first of the season. NOTES: Wilson was out of Saturday's starting lineup with an injured right thumb that he sustained while fielding a groundball on Friday. Manager Don Wakamatsu was encouraged by the lack of swelling in Wilson's thumb and said he could hopefully play on Sunday. ... OF Milton Bradley (calf) is improving but he is unlikely to play Sunday. Wakamatsu said if everything goes well Bradley could play Monday in Kansas City. ... A loud cheer erupted in the top of the eighth inning at U.S. Cellular Field after Marian Hossa scored the winning goal in overtime to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 5-4 win over the Nashville Predators in game to take a 3-2 lead in the first round of the NHL playoff series.