This West Coast trip is starting out the same way most of the recent ones have gone for the Chicago White Sox.
Chicago hopes to post a rare victory on the West Coast when it goes to Seattle to open a three-game set against the last-place Mariners.
For the second consecutive game, the White Sox lost at Oakland on a walkoff home run on Wednesday.
After Neal Cotts gave up Bobby Kielty’s two-run shot in the 12th inning Tuesday, Mark Kotsay delivered a solo homer in the 10th inning off Jon Adkins to lift the Athletics to a 3-2 victory on Wednesday.
Joe Crede had a career-high four hits and Carlos Lee extended his hitting streak to 19 games, but Chicago dropped to 1-13 at Oakland the past four seasons. The first-place White Sox have lost 35 of 41 games at Oakland, Seattle and Anaheim the last four years.
Starter Mark Buehrle limited the A’s to one run and five hits in six innings Wednesday.
“It’s tough any time you lose, but we haven’t played well here,” Buehrle said. “It seems like we haven’t been on this field to congratulate each other after a game in probably three years.”
Lee is batting .372 (29-for-78) during his streak—the longest by a White Sox player since Frank Thomas hit in 21 straight from May 24-June 15, 1999.
“It’s one of those stretches where no matter what you do, you get a hit,” Lee said. “Sometimes I reach for the ball and hit the ball in the hole. It’s just happening.”
Chicago’s Magglio Ordonez missed his seventh straight game Wednesday with a strained left calf, and is likely headed to the disabled list. Ordonez could also be facing surgery which would sideline him at least four weeks.
“Magglio is not doing very good, and actually he has regressed a little bit,” White Sox trainer Herm Schneider said. “He’s not really having a lot of pain in his knee or his back or anything, it’s just that he can’t run. He actually went out (Wednesday) to run, looking for a miracle, and it was worse than it has been.”
Two straight losses to Toronto has buried Seattle deeper in the AL West cellar. Kansas City and Montreal are the only major league teams with worse records than the Mariners, losers of five of seven.
A loss Friday would put Seattle 15 games under .500 for the first time since June 30, 1998.
The news got worse for the Mariners during Wednesday’s 5-3 loss when Raul Ibanez, the team leader with 11 home runs, strained his right hamstring while beating out a bunt single in the second inning.
“He felt a pop when he was running down the line,” Seattle manager Bob Melvin said. “I don’t know for sure, but it sounds to me like it would be a borderline miracle not to be a 15-day (DL) stint.”
WHITE SOX PROBABLE STARTER: Jon Garland (4-2, 3.93 ERA). Despite limiting Anaheim to two runs and eight hits in seven innings Friday, Garland did not receive a decision in Chicago’s 4-3 victory. He has pitched effectively in three of his past four starts, posting a 3.21 ERA in that span. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 2.42 ERA in five career games against Seattle.
MARINERS PROBABLE STARTER: Freddy Garcia (3-3, 3.01 ERA). Garcia finally received some run support Saturday at Boston, and pitched well enough to earn his second straight victory. He allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 5-4 win. Saturday marked the first time in eight starts the Mariners scored more than three runs with Garcia on the mound. The right-hander is 5-4 with a 4.50 ERA in 10 career starts against the White Sox.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: White Sox - Juan Uribe, .322 avg.; Thomas and Paul Konerko, 11 HRs; Konerko, 35 RBIs; Thomas, 35 runs; Willie Harris, 8 SBs. Mariners - Ichiro Suzuki, .339 avg. and 13 SBs; Ibanez, 11 HRs and 34 runs; Edgar Martinez, 29 RBIs.
2003 SEASON SERIES: Mariners, 7-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: White Sox - DH Thomas had his 440th career double Wednesday, tying him with Luke Appling for the most in team history. … Chicago is 10-23 at Seattle since the start of the 1998 season. … The four pitchers vying for the fifth spot in the rotation—Dan Wright, Felix Diaz, Cotts and Jon Rauch—are a combined 0-7 with a 10.02 ERA. Mariners - RF Suzuki is batting .387 (19-for-49) during a 10-game hit streak. … 2B Bret Boone is 4-for-33 (.121) in his last eight games. … The Mariners are last in the AL with 39 home runs.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: White Sox - 12-12 on the road; Mariners - 10-15 at home.