Mariners rally, down White Sox in extras

Mariners rally, down White Sox in extras

Mariners rally, down White Sox in extras
CHICAGO -- There was no shortage of heroes in the Mariners clubhouse Saturday after Seattle snapped the White Sox's nine-game winning streak with a 10-8 victory in 12 innings.

There were John Jaso and Chone Figgins with key hits in the winning rally, Tom Wilhelmsen pitching three scoreless innings for the win, Hisashi Iwakuma coming in for a big-time save and rookie Stephen Pryor making his Major League debut in impressive fashion.

There was Ichiro Suzuki with a pair of solo home runs, now that he's back in the leadoff role, of course. There was Justin Smoak with another long ball, his fifth in the past eight games.

But the biggest smile of all belonged to center fielder Michael Saunders, who bounced back from Friday night's facial -- when he took a line drive off his cheek for a two-base error that opened the doors for Chicago's 7-4 victory -- as he notched a career-high four-hit night that included a two-run bomb into the right-center field seats.

The same seats where fans at U.S. Cellular were riding him mercilessly until the Mariners applied the silencer with the 12th-inning win.

"They were wearing me out," Saunders said with a broad grin. "But that's the beauty of baseball. They were telling me not to catch it with my face and all sorts of stuff. They pay their money to come watch ballgames and they've got every right."

But in the end, Saunders and his teammates sent the 26,200 fans home with a loss that snapped Chicago's six-game streak at home, a seven-game streak over the Mariners and a nine-game streak overall.

"If you could define a team win, it would be what we did today," said Saunders. "Both teams used up their entire bullpens, guys did their jobs and came up with clutch hits and Jaso and Figgy won it in the 12th."

On a day when both teams combined for eight home runs -- four for each team -- the Mariners finally broke loose with doubles by Jesus Montero and Jaso, followed by a base hit by Figgins off Chicago's Addison Reed.

Wilhelmsen picked up the victory for Seattle with three innings of one-hit relief, with long reliever Iwakuma getting his second save in the past three games -- this time in conventional fashion -- after he'd earned his first by pitching the final three innings of Friday's 21-8 win in Texas.

There was plenty of power on display again in this one with the four Mariners home runs and an impressive debut of the hard-throwing rookie Pryor.

The Mariners nearly won it in the top of the eighth when Brendan Ryan scored the go-ahead run by stealing third and coming home on a throwing error for an 8-7 lead after he'd tied the game with a two-run double. But White Sox left fielder Dayan Viciedo tied it back up with a 424-foot blast off Pryor.

Pryor, making his first appearance after being called up from Triple-A Tacoma on Friday, came in with a 7-5 deficit and two outs, two-on in the bottom of the seventh and promptly struck out Paul Konerko on a series of fastballs clocked at 99 mph on the stadium radar.

"I saw who I was going to be facing and tried not to think about it, just tried to throw strikes," Pryor said. "It's been a great ride. I'm enjoying it and looking forward to more opportunities and things to get better and keep going from here."

Seattle took the lead with three runs in the top of the eighth before Pryor gave up the solo home run in a battle of young muscle with Viciedo, a 23-year-old Cuban who now has 12 home runs on the season.

Pryor wasn't the only surprising power display for the Mariners as Suzuki hit a pair of solo home runs and Smoak and Saunders also added homers, all coming in the first four innings.

The ball was flying out on a 73-degree afternoon on the South Side, as the White Sox countered with three home runs of their own off Seattle starter Hector Noesi.

Noesi, who had gone eight innings in each of his past two starts, lasted just 4 1/3 innings and gave up six hits on seven runs as he squandered three different early leads before being pulled at 68 pitches with a 6-5 deficit.

But by game's end, that seemed an afterthought on a day the Mariners had to take the lead on five different occasions before finally ending it in the 12th.

"It was just back and forth," said White Sox skipper Robin Ventura. "They are tough. They won't go away. They go ahead and we catch them and they go ahead. It's just one of those games. They are tough to put away."

Smoak now has five home runs and 13 RBIs in the past eight games, raising his season totals to 10 homers and 29 RBIs. He was 2-for-5 on the day, his average climbing to .241.

Saunders' fourth-inning home run was his fifth of the year, but first since May 1. He went 4-for-5 to raise his own average to .256.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.