Weaver pitches shutout to lead Mariners to 6-0 win over White Sox
CHICAGO (AP)—Jeff Weaver is accustomed to slow starts. He’s also getting used to dominating late in the year.
Weaver, who started the 2006 season 1-7 before becoming the World Series hero for the St. Louis Cardinals, has won consecutive starts after losing four straight. Before beating Baltimore 10-3 on Tuesday, Weaver hadn’t won since June 25 against Boston.
“It was kind of disappointing when you start out slow,” said Weaver, who won the clinching game in the Fall Classic. “You know what you’re capable of and when you’re not helping contribute it’s discouraging.
“But I’ve been around long enough that I know how long the season is. I just focus on putting those starts behind me and worrying about the next start. If you try to get everything back in one start, it makes it worse. I’ve been through that before.”
His other shutout came June 20 against Pittsburgh, when he scattered four hits in a 7-0 win.
“Over the course of my career, that’s exactly what’s happened. I feel better as the season goes on,” Weaver said.
Weaver (4-10) had a season-high eight strikeouts and retired 11 in a row between the first and fourth innings. He allowed five hits and didn’t walk a batter.
Bobby Jenks pitched a perfect ninth for Chicago, breaking David Wells’ American League record and tying the major league record of 41 straight batters retired. Jim Barr also set down 41 straight for San Francisco in 1972.
Jenks has refused to talk to the media until the streak is over.
“To do that, it’s pretty amazing in itself,” White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “I didn’t even realize it until a couple of days ago when people started talking about it. For him to go almost 14 innings and not walk a guy, not hit a guy, or not have a guy make an error, or a wild pitch or anything, that is pretty amazing.”
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said he was surprised when pitching coach Don Cooper called from the bullpen to let him know that Jenks wanted in the lopsided game.
“Then I called him back and asked him, ‘Was he sure he wanted to do it?’ Because I wasn’t sure the intensity was going to be there,” Guillen said. “He said ‘Well, my intensity is going to be there no matter what.’ That’s why we made that decision and I’m glad he did, because we (had) something nice to talk about after the game.”
With the crowd chanting his name, it took Jenks only seven pitches to finish the ninth. He knocked down Adam Jones’ liner with his glove and threw him out, Dye made a diving catch on Jamie Burke’s ball in right, and Jenks got Yuniesky Betancourt to ground out to end the inning. Jenks then pumped his fist several times and tipped his hat to the crowd.
Jose Guillen and Richie Sexson also homered for the Mariners, who have won 11 of their last 15 games and continue to lead the American League wild-card standings. The Mariners are 15 games over .500, tying a season-high.
White Sox starter John Danks gave up back-to-back singles to Ichiro Suzuki and Jose Lopez to start the game. Guillen followed with a double down the line in left, and Suzuki scored but Lopez was tagged out at the plate. Guillen went to third on the throw and scored on Beltre’s groundout to give the Mariners a 2-0 lead.
Sexson led off the second with a solo shot, his 18th of the season and first since July 26.
Lopez singled in the third, then out later, Beltre connected off Danks for his 18th homer of the year to give the Mariners a 5-0 lead.
Guillen chased Danks with his 16th homer of the season in the fifth inning.
Danks (6-10) allowed six runs and eight hits, striking out five and walking one. He hasn’t won since July 16 at Cleveland, going 0-4 in his last five starts.
The White Sox just missed a scoring chance in the first inning. With Jerry Owens on first and one out, Jim Thome hit a 1-2 pitch that bounced off the top of the fence but stayed in play. Owens went to third on Thome’s double, but Weaver got out of the inning. ^Notes: Thome broke an 0-for-20 slump with his first-inning double. … With temperatures predicted in the 90s, the Mariners opted to wear their batting practice uniform.