BY SPNW Staff 08:20PM 06/01/2012

Mariners Fade Early, Rally, But Lose To Sox 7-4

Two days after a 21-run, 20-hit offensive extravaganza against the Texas Rangers, the Mariners fell behind 4-0, didn’t get a hit until the fifth inning, rallied to tie, but fell apart in the eighth inning and lost to the Chicago White Sox 7-4 at U.S. Cellular Field. Goat: Reliever Shawn Kelley, who yielded three runs in the eighth after Seattle seemed poised to win.

In the eighth, with the score tied 4 and Kelley pitching, Chicago’s Paul Konerko reached on a two-base error by Michael Saunders. After an intentional walk to catcher A.J. Pierzynski, Brent Lillebridge, pinch-running for Konerko, scored on an infield single by Alexei Ramirez. Following a walk to Orlando Hudson, Alejandro De Aza smacked a two-run single to left, scoring two more.

With Felix Hernandez starting, the Mariners fell into an 0-2 hole in the first inning when he plunked De Aza with a pitch and then gave up a two-run bomb to Gordon Beckham to left on a 2-1 count. Hernandez escaped a bases-loaded threat in the third inning by striking out Alex Rios.

Beckham hit another home run in the fifth inning with two outs, for 3-0 lead. The next batter, Adam Dunn belted a home run, giving Chicago a 4-0 lead. Dunn hit a change-up, up in the middle of the plate, deep into the right field seats.

That spelled the end of the night for Fernandez, who gave up four earned runs on five hits in five innings. Hernandez allowed a season-high three homers and issued four walks, matching a season high. If not for the late rally, Fernandez would have lost for the fourth time in five games.

The Mariners got two back in the seventh when, after a Dustin Ackley double to left, Kyle Seager homered to right on a full count. Seattle tied it in the eighth after Ichiro, batting leadoff for the first time in 2012, singled to center, stole second, and scored on a Seager single. Following an Ackley walk, Justin Smoak singled, scoring Ackley, making it 4-4.

The White Sox have defeated the Mariners all four times the teams have met in 2012.

Chicago starter Jake Peavy worked 6.1 innings, allowing two runs on three hits. Jesse Crain got the win in relief.

The second game of the three-game series is Saturday at 1:10 p.m. Hector Noesi (2-6, 5.01) of Seattle will contest Gavin Floyd (4-5, 5.02).

After the series end Sunday, they will travel to Anaheim.


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