White Sox slug M’s, 13-3

  • By Kirby Arnold / Herald Writer
  • Tuesday, April 25, 2006 9:00pm
  • Sports

SEATTLE – Pity the sluggers who come to Safeco Field this time of year.

The heavy, cool air and spacious outfield make Safeco a place where fly balls die at the warning track and hitters mutter on their way back to the dugout.

Then there are nights like Tuesday, when the conditions didn’t change but the team hitting those balls did.

The Chicago White Sox crushed five home runs and raked Seattle Mariners pitching from beginning to end with eight extra-base hits in a 13-3 victory.

By the end, the ballpark couldn’t even hold the 20,451 who showed up to watch the game. Several hundred were around at the finish.

“The only redeeming thing is that this game is over,” manager Mike Hargrove said. “Games like this happen and I’m sure it’s going to happen again, but I hope it’s a long time before it does.”

The Mariners have lost seven of the past 11 games, although none like this.

Jermaine Dye hit two home runs, including a two-run blow in the eighth inning that landed in the second row of the upper deck in left field. Paul Konerko, Joe Crede and Tadahito Iguchi also homered for the White Sox, who’ve hit 31 as a team this season.

The White Sox had at least one extra-base hit in seven of the nine innings.

“I was pretty impressed. The ball doesn’t carry here,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “The guys are swinging the bat pretty well right now.

“This is one game, but hopefully this can carry on for the next couple of weeks.”

Mariners starter Joel Pineiro, now 2-2, struggled with nearly every pitch he throws and allowed six hits and five runs before he was pulled after the fourth inning.

“It was one of those game when they see the ball like it’s a basketball,” Pineiro said. “You’ve got to have your best stuff working against any lineup, but you’ve got to be especially careful against people like this.

“Somehow you’ve got to find a way to keep the team close, and today was not one of those days.”

As if they needed it, the White Sox got pitching, too.

Starter Javier Vazquez held the Mariners to four hits in six innings, and didn’t allow a runner past second base until Raul Ibanez reached third on Matt Lawton’s single in the seventh.

The Mariners put runners on base six times with less than two outs, including five to lead off an inning, yet didn’t score until the seventh.

They hit into double plays in the first, second, sixth and eighth innings.

The Mariners continued their pattern of producing after they’d fallen behind, scoring twice in the seventh inning and once in the eighth off White Sox reliever Boone Logan.

Tuesday was the fifth time a visiting team had hit five or more homers at Safeco Field, the last being the Cleveland Indians on July 16, 2004, when they hit eight.

“Everybody we brought in didn’t pitch well,” Hargrove said. “By the fifth or sixth inning, we were just trying to save our bullpen.”

After Pineiro, Hargrove handed the ball to Bobby Livingston, a left-hander called up Monday from Class AAA Tacoma. In his major league debut, and first relief appearance of his baseball career, Livingston gave up three walks, five hits and four runs, including Dye’s first homer in the fifth.

Jake Woods pitched the final 31/3 innings, allowing four hits and four runs, including Iguchi’s two-run homer in the seventh and Dye’s second homer in the eighth.

The Mariners’ moments of offense served only to lift a few batting averages.

Ichiro Suzuki went 2-for-3 and raised his average to .275. He is batting .424 in the past eighth games and has hit safely in seven straight.

Johjima ended an 0-for-11 slump with a fifth-inning single. He was hit by a pitch in the third inning and hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

The Mariners also tied a team record by getting four batters hit by pitches, matching a game against the Kansas City Royals on Sept. 1, 1990.

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