White Sox 12, Mariners 7
CHICAGO (AP)—The Chicago White Sox realize their postseason hopes are just about gone. All they can do now is hope—and keep swinging the way they did on Sunday.
“We’re just trying to win our games here, maybe force something crazy,” Konerko said.
With their playoff hopes flickering, the defending World Series champions won for the third time in 10 games.
Detroit beat Kansas City 11-4 Sunday to clinch a playoff spot and eliminate the White Sox from the AL Central race. Chicago remained 5 1/2 games behind Minnesota, a 6-3 winner over Baltimore, in the wild-card race.
Chicago finishes with three games at Cleveland followed by three at Minnesota. Any combination of Twins victories and White Sox losses totaling two will send Minnesota to the postseason.
“Hopefully, when we get there, we still have a chance,” manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Brian Anderson homered leading off the third for the game’s first run. Konerko hit a two-run homer with two out in the fifth to make it 4-1, and the next batter, Joe Crede, went deep off Seattle starter Ryan Feierabend (0-1).
Konerko’s two-run shot off Francisco Cruceta in the eighth, his 35th homer of the season, gave Chicago a 12-6 lead. Chicago hit five at Seattle on April 25.
“It’s been a long road trip at the end of a grueling season,” said Seattle manager Mike Hargrove, whose team went 6-5 on the trip.
The White Sox were 57-31 at the All-Star break but are on the brink of elimination because they have not been able to sustain any momentum the last 2 1/2 months. They won five straight in mid-August, sweeping Detroit in the process, but have done little otherwise.
“We have to win the rest of our games,” said Crede, who hit his 30th homer. “We know it’s possible.”
The team gathered in front of the dugout after the game, and Guillen tipped his hat.
“I think those fans really supported us,” he said. “It’s the least we can do. I made those guys stay back on the field, to make sure (the fans) know we appreciate them.”
After holding both the Los Angeles Angels and Detroit to one hit in eight shutout innings, Chicago’s Freddy Garcia (16-9) allowed four runs and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings. He hit two batters with pitches, walked one and struck out three.
The scoreless streak ended with one out in the fifth, when Adrian Beltre singled in a run to cut Chicago’s lead to 2-1. Garcia’s day ended when he allowed a three-run homer to Kenji Johjima that pulled Seattle to 5-4 with two outs in the seventh.
Feierabend lasted six innings in his first major league start, allowing five runs and eight hits while striking out four and walking three. Called up from Double-A San Antonio on September 8, he pitched a combined six innings of scoreless relief against Toronto and Kansas City and took the injured Jarrod Washburn’s start in the rotation.
“Definitely the long ball got to me today,” Feierabend said. “I made some mistakes and the mistakes got hit, a long ways as a matter of fact.”
White Sox RHP Jose Contreras will miss the rest of the season after leaving his last start with a strained right hamstring, manager Ozzie Guillen said. Contreras (13-9) left Friday’s game against Seattle after 1 2-3 innings, when he collapsed at first base and limped off the field. He was scheduled to make one more start. … With a crowd of 37,518, the White Sox set their single-season attendance record with 2,957,414. The previous mark was 2,934,154 in 1991, their first year at U.S. Cellular Field. … Jermaine Dye started in right field for Chicago after leaving Saturday’s 11-7 win with a tweaked left hamstring. … Beltre, who left Saturday’s game with a tight hamstring, has a 14-game hitting streak.