SEATTLE (AP) — Franklin Gutierrez's two-run single off Chicago closer Bobby Jenks in the bottom of the 11th inning sent the Seattle Mariners to a 2-1 victory over the stunned White Sox on Wednesday night.
Jenks' second last-inning meltdown in four days trimmed Chicago's lead over Minnesota to 2½ games in the AL Central.
Ageless Omar Vizquel looked like the star after singling home Gordon Beckham with two outs in the top of the 11th for the game's first run.
But Jenks (1-3), who surrendered four runs without getting an out in the ninth inning Sunday against the Twins, allowed a bunt single up the first-base line by Seattle's Jack Wilson leading off the bottom of the inning.
Ichiro Suzuki sacrificed him to second. Wilson advanced to third on a line-drive single by Chone Figgins, who stole second.
Alex Rios' throw home on Gutierrez's single to center was late and cut off in the infield. Figgins slid home and then ran into the infield to join his teammates as they mobbed Gutierrez.
Seattle got eight innings of two-hit ball from ace Felix Hernandez, then won for just the fourth time in 18 games.
"Tremendous win," said Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu, who was ejected in the top of the ninth for arguing a safe call on a stolen base by Chicago's Juan Pierre.
Chicago lost for the fourth time in six games and blew a chance for its first three-game sweep in Seattle since July 30-Aug. 1, 1993.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said of Jenks: "His velocity is not there." But Jenks said he thinks his velocity is fine.
Chicago's Gordon Beckham continued his hot hitting with a one-out double in the 11th off the left-field scoreboard against Brandon League (7-6). Pierre flew out before the 43-year-old Vizquel lined the third pitch he saw. Vizquel is 14 for 32 (.438) in his eight-game hitting streak.
Hernandez was cruising toward his fifth complete game — plus one nine-inning outing — in seven starts when Wakamatsu unexpectedly pulled him after eight innings and 93 pitches. It was his lowest pitch count since May 7, and he ace had allowed just two singles and retired his last 17 batters. He struck out eight and walked no one.
"Felix, he maybe had the best stuff I've ever seen," Wakamatsu said. "It's this time of the year that you've got to protect him."
Yet Hernandez was not happy in the dugout when he was taken out, or after the game.
"Go talk to Wak. Talk to somebody," Hernandez said. "No, I don't understand. I don't worry about the innings. I feel good. I feel strong. What do you want me to say? Talk to the manager."
Closer David Aardsma hit Pierre with a pitch and walked Vizquel with one out in the ninth. But he got Alex Rios to fly out and then struck out Paul Konerko on a high pitch. Konerko appeared to check his swing, but first-base umpire Jeff Kellogg said he did not. Konerko tossed his bat high toward the dugout in disgust.
Chicago's Andruw Jones, the 33-year-old fill-in for injured Carlos Quentin in right field, made two defensive gems to keep the game scoreless. In the bottom of the ninth Milton Bradley hit a flare. Jones made a sliding, basket-like catch then threw in one motion with a submarine-style flip to first base to double off Seattle's Jose Lopez, who was inexplicably halfway to second base while Figgins got back to second.
The White Sox bench erupted.
While Gavin Floyd was en route to allowing five hits in seven scoreless innings, Ryan Langerhans softly lined a single with two outs in the fifth. Jones charged in and ran to his left to get the ball. Langerhans hesitated then took off for second. Jones' throw in put Langerhans in a rundown that didn't end until Jones ran from the outfield to back up first base and apply the tag to Langerhans near the bag to end the inning.
Floyd high-fived Jones in front of the dugout and playfully grabbed Jones' cap in appreciation of the veteran's hustle. Guillen came down the line to trade a fist bump with Jones. And teammates again mobbed him as Jones flashed a huge grin inside the dugout.
NOTES: Quentin rested his bruised right hand for the third consecutive game, but took batting practice. Quentin who has 19 home runs and 64 RBIs, is expected back for the first time in five days in Friday night's series opener at Oakland. ... Russell Branyan missed second consecutive game with back spasms that Wakamatsu thinks will keep Seattle's only consistent home run threat out a couple more days, into a weekend series against Boston.