Lefty Joe Saunders (4-5) yielded one run over 6.1 innings and 41-year-old Raul Ibanez clubbed his 10th home run as the Mariners rebounded from a 10-0 shellacking in Minnesota to pin a 4-2 defeat on the flailing Chicago White Sox Monday night at Safeco Field in front of a paltry throng of 13,941.
The Mariners (25-33), coming off their sixth walk-off loss of the season Saturday and a 10-0 rout Sunday in the Twin Cities, spotted the White Sox a 1-0 lead, then roared back to win for the third time in five contests. Chicago has lost a season-high seven in a row.
Saunders struck out five, walked one and lowered his ERA to 5.20. After he departed, Yoervis Medina threw 1.2 innings of scoreless relief. Then entered Tom Wilhelmsen, who gave away Saturday’s game in Minnesota when he walked the bases full and gave up a game-losing, two-run triple.
Wilhelmsen conjured up nightmares when he opened by walking No. 3 hitter Alex Rios on a 3-2 count, but then struck out Paul Konerko on a 12-6 curveball and fanned Dayan Viciedo on a 96 mph fastball. After Adam Dunn singled, scoring Rios, Wilhelmsen retired Jeff Keppinger on a fly to center for his 13th save in 16 chances.
The Mariners (-11.0 GB) didn’t lose any ground to the surging Houston Astros, who won their sixth in a row by defeating the Angels, 2-1.
The White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the second on a Viciedo double and Keppinger’s single, but the Mariners tied it when Jesus Sucre singled, scoring Nick Franklin, who singled.
After Kendrys Morales doubled off the wall in center in the third, scoring Kyle Seager, who had singled, Ibanez’s two-run homer gave Seattle a 4-1 lead. Ibanez’s dinger came on the 13th pitch of his at-bat.
The Mariners and White Sox play the second of three Tuesday. Seattle ace Felix Hernandez (6-4, 2.38) opposes Jake Peavy (6-3, 3.62) in a matchup of former Cy Young winners. Hernandez is coming off a 7-1 victory at San Diego.
The Mariners play four against the New York Yankees Thursday, then three against the Houston Astros.
NOTES: Kyle Seager has a hit in seven consecutive games and in 41 of 56 contests this season . . . With Raul Ibanez’s homer Monday, Mariners outfielders have 37 long balls this season, most in the majors . . . The Mariners recalled OF Franklin Gutierrez from his minor league rehab stint Monday, but he is still not ready to be activated from the disabled list. The Mariners could petition MLB to have Gutierrez spend an additional 20 days on the disabled list. Gutierrez has missed 35 games this season and has played in 148 since the start of the 2011 season. He’s had five extended stints on the disabled list . . . OF Michael Morse missed his fifth consecutive game Monday due to a strained right quadriceps . . . All of Jason Bay’s eight home runs have been solo shots.