Published July 26, 2010
| Associated Press
CHICAGO – John Danks pitched eight solid innings to win his fourth consecutive start, helping the Chicago White Sox beat Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners 6-1 on Monday night.
Juan Pierre and Alexei Ramirez each had three hits for the White Sox, who kicked off a seven-game homestand with their season-high eighth consecutive victory at U.S. Cellular Field. It's their longest home winning streak since a nine-game surge in 2008.
Danks (11-7) allowed a run and six hits, improving to 7-2 with a 2.83 ERA in his last nine outings. The left-hander is 3-0 with a 1.14 ERA in three starts against Seattle this season, including 7 2-3 crisp innings in Chicago's 4-0 victory at Safeco Field last Tuesday.
The AL Central-leading White Sox grabbed control with two runs in the sixth. Paul Konerko led off with a towering drive down the left-field line for his 22nd homer and Ramirez added a two-out RBI double that made it 4-1.
Chicago almost had a bigger inning but Ichiro Suzuki robbed Mark Kotsay of a two-run homer, hauling in the drive with a perfectly timed leap at the right-field wall.
Suzuki was the lone highlight for Seattle, also collecting two hits at the plate. Jack Wilson delivered an RBI single in the third for the Mariners' only run.
Hernandez (7-7) ran his scoreless streak against the White Sox to 25 2-3 innings before Pierre and Omar Vizquel hit consecutive RBI singles with two out in the third, giving Chicago a 2-1 lead.
Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez almost cut down Ramirez when he scored on Pierre's hit, but his throw was a little off, just a tad up the third-base line. The play allowed Pierre to move to second, setting up Vizquel's at-bat.
That was more than enough for Danks, who is closing in on his career-high 13 wins from last year. Suzuki's infield hit put runners on first and second in the eighth but Danks got speedy Chone Figgins to hit into an inning-ending double play, pumping his left arm as he bounded off the mound toward Chicago's dugout.
The White Sox added two more runs in the bottom half on A.J. Pierzynski's sacrifice fly and Pierre's run-scoring single.
Sergio Santos finished the six-hitter as Chicago improved 6-1 against the Mariners this season.
NOTES: Chicago general manager Kenny Williams hinted that the White Sox talked to the Diamondbacks about Dan Haren before the right-hander was traded to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday. "Yesterday was a little bit of a surprise because that came together very quickly," Williams said. "Listen, all I can tell you is my phone is right here on my hip. Things happen fast and you've got to be prepared to sometimes give very quick answers and decide whether you're going to go down that road or not." ... Mariners INF Russell Branyan (back spasms) took batting practice and could return to the lineup on Tuesday. ... Mariners 1B Justin Smoak (legs) got the day off.