White Sox 6, Mariners 2
Backed by two-run homers from Joe Borchard and Paul Konerko, Diaz (2-4) allowed one run and five hits—none to Suzuki—in six innings to lead the Chicago White Sox to a 6-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
The right-hander, who entered with a 9.09 ERA, got Suzuki to ground out three times as the White Sox won their third straight.
Suzuki got a single off reliever Jon Adkins in the seventh to go 1-for-4 and give him a major league-leading 224 hits, 33 short of the all-time single-season record. He has 26 games remaining to reach the record of 257 hits, set by George Sisler in 1920 with the St. Louis Browns.
But by the time Suzuki reached base Sunday, Diaz had already set the tone.
“My pitches were better and I was able to set them up better,” Diaz said through a translator. “When I came up up (from Triple-A Charlotte) I had confidence, but maybe then the batters had more confidence.”
Diaz’s previous win was June 26 against the Cubs when he allowed three runs in six innings He had been 0-3 with two no-decisions since.
“He threw strikes and changes speeds real well,” manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Catcher Jamie Burke added: “The big thing was he was getting ahead of hitters. He was strong with all his pitches on both sides of the plate.”
Diaz tried to keep his pitches inside against Suzuki. On Sunday, it worked.
“He threw fastballs, changeups and sliders,” Suzuki said through a translator.
Seattle starter Jamie Moyer (6-10) allowed five runs in seven innings in his eighth straight loss. He hasn’t won since June 18 at Pittsburgh, and has seven no-decisions during that span.
“It’s mistakes that are getting taken advantage of,” Moyers said. “I made fewer of them today, but they were taken advantage of.”
Borchard gave the White Sox a 2-0 lead in the second with a two-run homer that barely cleared the center-field wall. For Borchard, a switch-hitter, it was his first homer this season from the right side of the plate.
Konerko’s two-run shot—his 35th—in the third extended Chicago’s lead to 4-0.
After Martinez’s RBI double cut it to 4-1 in the sixth, the White Sox replied in the bottom of the inning with Jamie Burke’s sacrifice fly.
Juan Uribe hit an RBI double in the eighth to make it 6-1.
The White Sox swept the Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field this season 6-0. … Konerko’s homer was his third in two games. It also was the White Sox’s 200th homer, giving them 200 or more for five straight years. The New York Yankees, who have a string of five 200-plus homer seasons, are the only other team to accomplish that. … Despite Diaz’s strong start Sunday, Guillen plans to move him to the bullpen when right-hander Freddy Garcia returnes to Chicago’s rotation this week.