SEATTLE (AP) -- Attention American League: bring your slumping and your shaky to Seattle -- as soon as you can get here.
Jose Contreras pitched seven sharp innings, Paul Konerko hit a two-run double and the Chicago White Sox beat the skidding Mariners 4-2 on Friday night.Contreras (3-3) gave up one run and six hits as the White Sox won for just the third time in 10 games.Seattle slugger Richie Sexson went 0-for-4 hours after Major League Baseball suspended him six games for charging the mound Thursday and throwing his helmet at Texas' Kason Gabbard. Sexson is appealing the suspension.Bobby Jenks allowed a solo home run to rookie Wladimir Balentien in the ninth but still got his seventh save in nine chances to end Chicago's six-game road losing streak."Hey, when's the last time you heard that: music in the clubhouse on the road?" White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said, walking through a thumping clubhouse."I said in spring training: We are going to be what Jose is going to be. He is going to carry us."The Mariners have lost nine of 10 and are already farther out of first place (eight games) than any other team in the AL. They have scored just three runs in their last four games. They still have yet to win a game this season in which they've trailed by two runs.Not exactly what they were expecting when they entered the season as one of the favorites to reach the playoffs."At this point, we are kind of in a worst-case scenario," Ichiro Suzuki said through an interpreter. "But in this situation, we must not think about punishing ourselves too much. At the same time, we can't think we are fine. ... So what's important is to find that balance in between somewhere."One thing every one should not do is brainwash ourselves into thinking this is our team, this is what we do."This is how bad it's gotten in Seattle: After Konerko's double off Carlos Silva (3-2) in the third made it 2-0, burly Jim Thome successfully challenged Suzuki's Gold Glove throwing arm by rumbling home on a medium sacrifice fly by Jermaine Dye. Suzuki seemed stunned after his wide throw, his hands on his hips."I knew when it was hit to Ichiro I'd better give it everything I got," Thome said, smiling.With Jose Vidro at first in the fourth, Sexson sent a pitch to the wall in center field. Brian Anderson, starting because Guillen said he is giving Nick Swisher a "mental break," sprinted and then slammed his left shoulder and side into the padded wall while reaching up to catch Sexson's drive.Contreras then walked Jeff Clement but got Balentien to pop out and struck out Yuniesky Betancourt to get out of the inning.Seattle put two on with one out again in the fifth. But Adrian Beltre popped out and Vidro grounded out on the first pitch."I don't feel good about this. They don't feel good about this. Our fans certainly don't feel good about this," Mariners manager John McLaren said, shaking his head and biting his lip.Seattle ended its longest scoreless drought in 20 years in the third, taking advantage of two White Sox miscues. Suzuki singled, swiped second and went to third on errant throw by catcher A.J. Pierzynski. He scored on Contreras' wild pitch for the Mariners' first run in 25 innings.Thome hit his seventh homer in the seventh to extend Chicago's lead to 4-1, golfing Silva's full-count sinker a dozen rows into the right-field bleachers. Silva, who angrily ripped off his cap after Thome's drive, allowed eight hits and four runs in seven innings.
C Kenji Johjima, 0-for-7 against Contreras and batting .184, was the latest Mariner to get benched. "We've reached the stage where I'm going to use the best nine guys I can to win that game," McLaren said. "He's disappointed -- we're disappointed."